Observing that this is a classic case of blatant violation of Fundamental rights by the police, the Karnataka High Court quashed the First Information Reports registered against admin of a Facebook page Troll Maga. The court also directed the government to pay a cost of RS 1 lakh to the petitioner S Jayakant, within one month and ordered departmental action against the Magistrate who remanded the accused in violate of Supreme Court guidelines in Arnesh Kumar case.
Justice P S Dinesh Kumar in it's order pronounced on Friday observed "The police action against the petitioner was illegal." The Director General of Police and Inspector General of Police are directed to conduct and inquiry against the police officers responsible for the arrest and accordingly submit an action take report to the court within three months and also recover the cost amount of RS 1 lakh from them.
"Liberty of citizen in a civilized society is sacrosanct", said the Court in its order.
The court also directed the Registrar General of the High Court to conduct an inquiry against the Judicial Magistrate who sent Jaikanth to police custody in the second case, even when Jaikant was granted anticipatory bail in the first case, based on the same set of facts.
The bench said :
"It was incumbent upon the learned Magistrate to carefully scrutinize the papers and bestow his attention to the submissions of the learned advocate for the petitioner before granting police custody. A special care was required in the instant case because petitioner was granted anticipatory bail by the learned Sessions Judge, who is superior to him in hierarchy. It is unfortunate that despite binding directions by the Apex Court in various judgments including Arnesh Kumar, the learned Magistrate has granted police custody. By this act of the learned Magistrate, petitioner remained in police custody in spite of an anticipatory bail order in his favour. This is a serious matter and requires correction. Further, the directions contained in paragraph No.11.8 of Arnesh Kumar require initiation of departmental enquiry."
The police had arrested Jaikanth for allegedly posting abusive and insulting, posts against JD(S) party chief HD Deve Gowda, Chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and his son and leader from the party, Nikhil Kumaraswamy.
Jaikant had approached the court seeking to quash the FIR registered based on the complaint made by Raviraj from the JD(S) IT wing.
Earlier while directing immediate release of the accused the court had observed that there was gross violation of the apex court's guidelines, the high-handedness of police showed that the edifice of rule of law has been broken in the state and there appears to be a police raj.
The police had arrested Jaikanth, an engineer by profession, in the second complaint on the same set of facts as are mentioned in the first complaint registered in May. The bench said "Allegations in both the FIR's are more or less identical. Actions of the police lead to an inference that a deliberate attempt was made by the police to ensure that petitioner was somehow arrested and detained in custody."
Click here to download order