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Tweets Against Thackerays: No Coercive Action Against Sunaina Holey Till January 12, State Tells Bombay High Court

Nitish Kashyap
17 Dec 2020 4:11 PM GMT
Tweets Against Thackerays: No Coercive Action Against Sunaina Holey Till January 12, State Tells Bombay High Court
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The State Government informed the Bombay High Court on Thursday that no coercive action will be taken against Sunaina Holey in all three cases against her till January 12. Holey was booked for her tweets against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Aditya Thackeray and one other cabinet minister.State's assurance came after the division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice MS Karnik asked...

The State Government informed the Bombay High Court on Thursday that no coercive action will be taken against Sunaina Holey in all three cases against her till January 12. Holey was booked for her tweets against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Aditya Thackeray and one other cabinet minister.

State's assurance came after the division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice MS Karnik asked the Additional Public Prosecutor to take instructions whether a statement can be made that no coercive steps will be taken against her in all pending proceedings.

Holey has been booked for offences under Sections 153A, 505(2) and 500 of IPC in three different FIRs relating to three tweets posted by her. She was arrested in August this year and then released on bail in the case registered against her by the Cyber police station, Cyber Crime, Bandra Kurla Complex.

Holey's counsel Advocate Abhinav Chandrachud concluded his submissions today. He began with revising his submissions in the previous hearing on December 15. In the previous hearing, Chandrachud had quoted from the landmark US Supreme Court case in Cohen Vs. California.

"One man's vulgarity is another man's lyric", he quoted from the judgment to highlight the element of subjectivity involved in ascertaining the criminality of speech.

In the said case, the United States Supreme Court established that the government generally cannot criminalize the display of profane words in public places.

Moreover, Advocate Chandrachud had referred to the Supreme Court's judgment in Ramesh s/o Chotalal Dalal Vs Union of India & Ors.

Referring to the charge under Section 153A, Advocate Chandrachud submitted that in order for an offence under the said section to be made out for promotion of enmity between different religious groups, it is necessary that two religious groups are involved.

He further cited the Supreme Court's decisions in Bilal Ahmed Kaloo vs State Of Andhra Pradesh and Balwant Singh And Anr vs State Of Punjab.

Advocate Chandrachud read from the transcript of the video posted by Holey on her twitter account and reiterated that offences she has been booked under are not made out.

After Chandrachud concluded his submissions and made a request that no coercive action should be taken against his client, the Court asked APP to take instructions whether the statement can be made that no coercive action will be taken against Holey in all three proceedings against her until January 12.

After taking instructions, APP submitted that no coercive action will be taken against Holey until January 12, 2021.

Previously, Advocate Chandrachud cited the decision of the Bombay High Court in Joseph Bain D'Souza And Another vs State Of Maharashtra And Others, wherein the High Court had refused action against Shiv Sena's mouthpiece the Saamna for articles after the Babri Masjid demolition and consequent riots, in support of his case.


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