7 Sep 2022 6:42 AM GMT
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court recently refused to quash an FIR registered against an Assistant Professor working in a Government college who has been accused of intending to provoke common people to use force or violence against the institutions like the army, the police and the civil administration.The bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar perused the video clips submitted by the...
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court recently refused to quash an FIR registered against an Assistant Professor working in a Government college who has been accused of intending to provoke common people to use force or violence against the institutions like the army, the police and the civil administration.
The bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar perused the video clips submitted by the Police featuring the Assistant Professor, to note that prima facie he was trying to promote enmity between the people living in Kashmir and those living in other parts of the country.
The case in brief
Essentially, the bench was dealing with the bail plea of Abdul Bari Naik who has been booked under Sections 153, 353 RPC and 13 ULA(P) Act on the allegations that he is motivating the students of the college to disrupt peace and tranquility in the area and also provoking them to indulge in violence against the State Administration.
Defending the FIR, the state government argued before before the Court that it has credible reports that Professor Naik is motivating the public with the ideology of extremist groups and he is indulging in a vilifying campaign against the district administration and the security forces.
On the other hand, petitioner submitted that since he is an RTI activist and he raises the issues of corruption, therefore, the respondents lodged the impugned FIR against him and at best, his acts may amount to violation of Civil Service Rules and in no case, it would amount to disclosure of a criminal offence against the petitioner.
At the outset, the Court noted that as per the investigation conducted by the investigating agency, the petitioner is trying to motivate the common people towards separatism and he is provoking them against the police and security forces as also against district administration.
The Court further noted that as per the investigation, the petitioner is shown to be sympathetic towards the people who are involved in unlawful and terrorist activities and he is provoking common people against the establishment of army camps.
"Upon watching the video clips seized during the investigation of the case, it appears that the petitioner is conveying to the audience that Kashmiri students are being lynched and brutally tortured in other parts of the country. In one of the video clips, the petitioner is seen conveying to his audience that the children of Kashmir are being oppressed by the security forces and the army. In yet another video clip, the petitioner is conveying that the army is hampering the movement of the people and it is obstructing the children from going to schools which has led to closure of schools. In yet another video clip, the petitioner is seen pleading cause relating to release of a person who was in custody for indulging in stone pelting and terrorist activities," the Court further remarked.
Thus, emphasizing that the video clips also, prima facie, show that the petitioner is trying to promote enmity between the people living in Kashmir and those living in other parts of the country, the Court observed that it cannot be stated that the material on record does not disclose commission of any cognizable offence against the petitioner.
Consequently, the Court held that the instant case does not fall into the category of cases in which this Court would exercise its powers under Section 482 of the Cr. P. C to quash the proceedings in the impugned FIR.
"Quashing the proceedings in the instant case would amount to stifling a genuine prosecution which is impermissible in law," the Court added as it dismissed the plea.
Case title - Abdul Bari Naik v. State of J&K and others
Citation :2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 141
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