Top
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Zee Media Journalist Booked For Conducting 'Reality Check' On Inter-State E-Pass Registration: Himachal Pradesh High Court Stays Arrest

Sparsh Upadhyay
4 Jun 2021 1:42 PM GMT
Zee Media Journalist Booked For Conducting Reality Check On Inter-State E-Pass Registration: Himachal Pradesh High Court Stays Arrest
x
The petitioner filed the registration form on the portal for issuances of two e-passes for entering the state of Himachal Pradesh and the registration so made was in the names of two renowned personalities i.e. Amitabh Bachchan and Donald Trump.

Dealing with a matter of Zee News Journalist who has been booked for conducting a 'reality check' on e-pass registration for inter-State movement, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Thursday directed the State police not to take any coercive action against him.The Bench of Justice Ajay Mohan Goel ordered that till the next date of hearing, no coercive action shall be taken against...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
599+GST
(For 6 Months)
Premium account gives you:
  • Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.
  • Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.
Already a subscriber?

Dealing with a matter of Zee News Journalist who has been booked for conducting a 'reality check' on e-pass registration for inter-State movement, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Thursday directed the State police not to take any coercive action against him.

The Bench of Justice Ajay Mohan Goel ordered that till the next date of hearing, no coercive action shall be taken against the petitioner.

The matter in brief 

Zee Media group Journalist Aman Bharadwaj approached the High Court, seeking quashing and setting aside of FIR registered under Section 419 (Punishment for cheating by personation), 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (Using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) of the IPC, besides Section 66 (d) of the Information Technology Act and Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act.

In the month of April, the State government issued directions regarding the inter-State movement to Himachal Pradesh and directed that the movement shall be monitored through the process of registration on the e-pass portal.

Further, last month, on May 5, another notification imposing 'corona curfew' from May 7 was issued and it included a guideline regarding the registration on the e-pass web portal of the government of Himachal Pradesh for any kind of inter-State movement.

Submissions made by the Petitioner

The Petitioner stated in his bail application that being a responsible journalist and acting in larger public interest carried out a systematic investigation into the veracity of the claims being made by the administration qua the verification of the registration in forms of the people entering Himachal compliance with notification dated 05-05-2021 and broadcast the news on May 7.

It was also mentioned that the reality check undertaken by the petitioner brought to light the fact that the registration so made and e-passes so generated were being done in a mechanical manner without any verification by the authorities concerned.

The petitioner filed the registration form on the portal for issuances of two e-passes for entering the state of Himachal Pradesh and the registration so made was in the names of two renowned personalities i.e. Amitabh Bachchan and Donald Trump.

He also submitted that he deliberately uploaded his own verification details i.e. Adhaar card and telephone numbers and mentioned two random vehicle numbers.

"To his surprise, the passes were generated. This substantiated the fact that the passes were being issued in a mechanical manner without verifying the accompanying documents,'' said the petition.
"The same was done as the petitioner was hopeful that the names so mentioned would definitely be taken note of by the authorities during the process of verification...The entire exercise of registration was done with a bona-fide intention to unearth the truth and loopholes behind the entire process of registration for the larger public interest," added the Petitioner.

It was argued that the entire process was undertaken by the petitioner in order to establish the fact that the registration was done in a mechanical manner without proper verification of the documents so uploaded by any competent authority leading to the unhindered interstate vehicular movement in the state.

The petitioner has further asserted his right under Article 19(1)(a) of the constitution of India stating that the freedom of the press is an essential part of the freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed by the constitution of India. 

Click here To Download Order

Read Order

Next Story
Share it