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'No Prima Facie Case': Chhattisgarh High Court Stays FIR Against Ex-CM Raman Singh, BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra Over 'Congress Toolkit' Tweet

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
14 Jun 2021 1:42 PM GMT
No Prima Facie Case: Chhattisgarh High Court Stays FIR Against Ex-CM Raman Singh, BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra Over Congress Toolkit Tweet
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The Chhattisgarh High Court on Friday stayed investigation in the FIR lodged against Dr. Raman Singh, BJP National Vice President and former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, in connection to his tweet claiming that the Congress party has prepared a toolkit to tarnish the image of the country in the foreign media.The Court also granted same relief to BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra with respect...

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The Chhattisgarh High Court on Friday stayed investigation in the FIR lodged against Dr. Raman Singh, BJP National Vice President and former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, in connection to his tweet claiming that the Congress party has prepared a toolkit to tarnish the image of the country in the foreign media.

The Court also granted same relief to BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra with respect to the same FIR.

A Single Bench of Justice Narendra Kumar Vyas held that the FIR dated May 19, 2021, has been lodged by a political person with political motives.

"Prima facie, no case is made out against the petitioner and criminal proceedings is manifestly attended against the petitioner with malafides or with political grudge," it observed while staying the investigation.

The FIR has been lodged under Sections 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 505(1)(b) and 505(1)(c) (Statements conducing to public mischief), 469 (Forgery for purpose of harming reputation) and 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of IPC at the instance of one Akash Sharma, State President of National Student Union of India (NSUI), Chhattisgarh.

Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani appearing for Singh had argued that no community has been affected due to his tweets and the impugned FIR is unwarranted inasmuch as political parties, i.e. BJP and Congress are not communities for the purpose of alleged offences. "This is political clash between two rival political parties. This falls within the ambit of freedom of speech and does not affect peace and tranquility, therefore, no offence is made out," it was contended.

The Court observed that the FIR has been lodged by the police without examining the truthfulness of the complaint and no case is made out from the face of the FIR. Hence, continuation of investigation on basis of impugned FIR will be nothing but an abuse of process of law.

"If we see the face value of the F.I.R. no offence under Sections 504, 505(1)(b) and 505(1)(c) of IPC is made out as the averments of the F.I.R reflect that by the Twit of the petitioner, congress men are aggravated which clearly indicates that no public peace or tranquility is being adversely affected and it is purely political rivalry between two political parties. This, prima facie, establishes that present F.I.R has been registered with political motives," the Court held.

Case Title: Dr. Raman Singh v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.

Advocates for the Petitioner: Mr Mahesh Jethmalani, Senior Advocate along with Mr Apoorv Kurup, Mr. Vivek Sharma & Mr. Ravi Sharma.

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