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

Sedition Not Made Out In Absence Of Incitement Of Disaffection Towards Govt: Karnataka HC Quashes Case Against Police Association Leader

Mustafa Plumber
15 Aug 2022 10:45 AM GMT
Sedition Not Made Out In Absence Of Incitement Of Disaffection Towards Govt: Karnataka HC Quashes Case Against Police Association Leader
x

The Karnataka High Court has quashed the case of sedition registered against a dismissed police constable who formed a Police Association namely Akhila Karnataka Police Maha Sangha (Welfare Body) in the year 2016 and was accused of spearheading a movement to instigate the lower rung of the Police force to act against the present elected Government.

A single judge bench of Justice Hemant Chandangoudar allowed the petitions filed by V. Shashidhar and others who were charged for offences punishable under sections 124A, 166 r/w 120(B) and 109 of IPC, Section 5 of the Karnataka Essential Services Maintenance Act, 2013, Section 3 of the Police (Incitement to Disaffection) Act,1922 and Section 4 of the Police Forces (Restriction of Rights) Act, 1966.

The Court observed that to constitute the commission of offence punishable under Section 124A of IPC, a person must bring or attempt to bring into hatred or contempt to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in India. It held,

"The charge sheet material does not disclose that the petitioners-accused by words or spoken or written were trying to instigate the lower rung of the Police and were only agitating the appalling conditions services under which they function. In the absence of any corroborative material that the petitioners-accused by words, either spoken or written brought or attempted to bring excite disaffection towards the Government, the filing of the chargesheet is without any substance."

It was alleged that the petitioners had made public speeches, and used electronic social media such as, Facebook, WhatsApp, to create hatred and disaffection against the State Government among the Police force and the public at large. The petitioner-accused No.1 was said to have posted provocative photographs with captions like 'Sippayee Dungay' on Facebook and to have addressed messages to the rank and file of the Karnataka Police force to go on a mass leave on 4.6.2016, throughout Karnataka State and to join hands in their war against the Government and the Police Department.

The petitioners counsel submitted the charge sheet material does not disclose the commission of the offence alleged against the petitioners-accused. In the absence of any essential ingredients so as to constitute the commission of the offence alleged against the petitioners accused, the filing of the charge sheet against the petitioners is without any substance.

Further, in the absence of any material that the Police personnel went on mass leave or participated in the strike alleged to have called by the petitioners-accused, the charge sheet is not tenable.

Prosecution opposed the plea saying petitioners having conspired to instigate the Police Force with an intention to create hatred and disaffection against the State Government among the general public and to bring down the Government have committed the offences alleged against them.

Court findings:

As regards the charge of conspiracy the bench said, "The charge sheet material does not disclose that the petitioners-accused have conspired with each other to do an illegal act, except the allegation that the petitioners instigated the Police personnel to go on a mass leave and to participate in the strike to be held on 4.6.2016. In the absence of any essential ingredients so as to constitute the commission of the offence of criminal conspiracy, the filing of the charge sheet for the offence punishable under Sections 120A and B of IPC is also held to be without any substance."

As regards the offence punishable under Section 5 of the Karnataka Essential Services Maintenance Act, 2013, any person must instigate or incite any other person to take part in, or otherwise acts in furtherance of strike which is illegal under this Act. In the present case, the alleged strike called by the petitioner-accused did not take place.

Similarly, as regards other offences, the court held that the charge sheet material does not disclose that the act of the petitioner has resulted in disaffection towards the Government establishment by law. Accordingly it allowed the petition.

Case Title: V. SHASHIDHAR & others v. STATE OF KARNATAKA BY YELAHANKA

Case No: WRIT PETITION NO.6376/2019 (GM-RES) A/W CRIMINAL PETITION NO.4811/2020

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 316

Date of Order: 28TH DAY OF JUNE, 2022

Appearance: Senior Advocate Sandesh Chouta for Advocate Sunil Kumar. S, Advocate G.R.Mohan for petitioners; HCGP S. VISHWAMURTHY for respondent

Click Here To Read/Download Order


Next Story