Top
News Updates

Madras HC Quashes FIR Against Filmmaker Of Kakoos, Says Film Intends To Create Awareness On Manual Scavenging [Read Order]

Akshita Saxena
22 Nov 2019 9:17 AM GMT
Madras HC Quashes FIR Against Filmmaker Of Kakoos, Says Film Intends To Create Awareness On Manual Scavenging [Read Order]
x

On Wednesday, the Madras High Court quashed the FIR lodged against K. Divya, Director of Kakoos (Toilet), a documentary film on manual scavenging. Quashing the FIR lodged by Advocate S. Baskar Maduram, Justice N. Anand Venkatesh said, "the FIR that has been registered against the petitioner is clearly an abuse of process of law, which requires the interference of this...

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?

On Wednesday, the Madras High Court quashed the FIR lodged against K. Divya, Director of Kakoos (Toilet), a documentary film on manual scavenging.

Quashing the FIR lodged by Advocate S. Baskar Maduram, Justice N. Anand Venkatesh said,

"the FIR that has been registered against the petitioner is clearly an abuse of process of law, which requires the interference of this Court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. The complaint given by the second respondent and the FIR registered by the police clearly amounts to interfering with the fundamental right of speech and expression guaranteed to the petitioner."

Divya had been charged under Section 153A and 505(1)(b) of IPC r/w 66 F of the Information Technology Act, 2000, for attempting to create a caste conflict and promoting enmity.

Baskar had alleged that documentary proceeded as if manual scavenging was done by a particular community called Thevendra Kula Vellalar, thereby defaming them. It was thus prayed, that the police be allowed to investigate the matter as the Petitioner had not proved as to how she came to a conclusion that manual scavenging was done only by a particular community.

It was further alleged that the Petitioner, by way of her film, had attempted to create a caste conflict, in effect disturbing public tranquility.

Resisting the FIR, Divya had submitted that the film was an attempt to spread awareness in order to completely abolish the practice of manual scavenging.

Findings

Noting that the common feature in Section 153 A and Section 505 of IPC was fuelling of enmity "between different religious or racial or linguistic or regional groups", the court said that in order to invoke these provisions, it was necessary that at least two such groups or communities are involved.

"… There is no allegation in the complaint to show that there is promotion of feeling of enmity, hatred or ill will between different groups or communities. The only reference made in this complaint is to one particular community. Therefore, even if an extreme case is taken, at the best, the allegations made in the complaint will only amount to defaming a particular community and nothing more. It is not known on what basis the respondent police registered the FIR for the offence under Sections 153 A and 505 (1)(b) of IPC."

Section 153A punishes any act which promotes enmity between the groups on grounds of religion and race etc., or which are prejudicial to national integration.

Section 505 punishes making of statements with intent to cause fear or alarm to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the State or against public tranquility.

"In the considered view of this Court, the allegations made in the complaint does not make out a case under Sections 153 A and 505 (1)(b) of IPC. In the first place, the documentary in question is intended to create an awareness among general public for abolition of manual scavenging. If in the documentary, any community has been named, it will not amount to an offence under Sections 153 A and 505 (1)(b) of IPC," the court added.

Adverting to the provision of Section 66F of IT Act which punishes Cyber-terrorism, the court said,

"In order to commit cyber terrorism, it must be shown that the act must be done to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India or to strike terror in the people or any section of people. The complaint given by the second respondent does not in any way attract the provisions of Section 66 F of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The documentary that has been produced by the petitioner cannot be termed as a cyber terrorism."

Click Here To Download Order

Read Order


Next Story
Share it