24 Nov 2020 5:48 AM GMT
The Kerala High Court has observed that use of term "Gomatha" as a synonym for meat in a cookery show is prima facie likely to hurt the religious feelings of Hindus, who worship cow as a deity. Holding thus, a Single Bench of Justice Sunil Thomas imposed strictures on activist Rehana Fatima who had uploaded a video of a cookery show on social media in which she was cooking...
The Kerala High Court has observed that use of term "Gomatha" as a synonym for meat in a cookery show is prima facie likely to hurt the religious feelings of Hindus, who worship cow as a deity.
Holding thus, a Single Bench of Justice Sunil Thomas imposed strictures on activist Rehana Fatima who had uploaded a video of a cookery show on social media in which she was cooking "Gomatha Ularth". It was alleged that she narrated the recipe and purposefully claimed that she was cooking the meat of Gomatha, to hurt the religious sentiments of the community. Accordingly she was booked under Section 153 of IPC.
"There cannot be any dispute that the term "Gomatha" as is commonly understood is with reference to holy or sacred cow. Scriptures quoted by the complainant show that, since the vedic period, cow is revered as holy as deities, in India. If it is so believed by several Lakhs of Hindus through out the country, definitely, the use of the term Gomatha as a synonym for meat used in a cookery show, prima facie is - likely to wound the religious feelings of those believers," the Court held.
It observed that there is absolutely no material on record to show that 'Gomatha' is used as synonym for meat anywhere in India. it held,
"Choice of the word "Gomatha Ularth" prima facie appear to be ill-motivated and purposefully made and that uploading of such a highly objectionable video for public viewing may affect the Fundamental Right of the devotees."
The Court was thus of the opinion that Fatima had violated a bail condition imposed on her (not to hurt the sentiments of any religious community) by the High Court in another case pertaining to publication of offensive materials about Lord Ayyappa of Sabarimala.
Though the Court opined that a natural consequence of such conduct should be cancelation of bail, it proceeded to take a lenient view and said,
"The arrest and detention of the accused in two crimes has not improved the conduct of the accused. Still, on a firm belief that she will start recognizing the rights of others also and that exercise of one's Right to Freedom of speech and expression should not offend the Fundamental and statutory rights of others, am inclined to give her one last opportunity."
The order comes with certain strictures on Fatima, including an absolute restriction on using social media until conclusion of the trial.
Till the trial in Crime No.2405 of 2018 is over, accused shall not directly, indirectly or through any other person publish, transmit, share, upload or disseminate or publish any material or any of her comments through any visual and electronic media, open to public, the Court stipulated.
Fatima had contended that cow slaughter was not banned in Kerala and consumption of beef as food in Kerala was not prohibited.
She was recently booked under Section 13 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and Section 67 B of Information Technology Act (IT Act), over a video showing her children painting on her semi-nude body.
Also Read: 'How Can You Use Children For This?': SC Refuses Pre-Arrest Bail To Rehana Fathima In POCSO Case Over Video Showing Her Children Painting On Her Semi-Nude Body
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