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Supreme Court Stays FIR Registered Against Journalist Who Was Covering 2018 Bharat Bandh

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
28 Oct 2020 2:32 PM GMT
Supreme Court Stays FIR Registered Against Journalist Who Was Covering 2018 Bharat Bandh
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed an FIR registered against Yogesh Kumar Holkar, a journalist who had covered the 2018 Bharat Bandh protests in Morena, Madhya Pradesh.A Bench comprising of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy issued notice in the plea and stayed further proceedings in pursuance to the FIR in question. Advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi, appearing on behalf...

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed an FIR registered against Yogesh Kumar Holkar, a journalist who had covered the 2018 Bharat Bandh protests in Morena, Madhya Pradesh.

A Bench comprising of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy issued notice in the plea and stayed further proceedings in pursuance to the FIR in question.

Advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi, appearing on behalf of Holkar, submitted to the Bench that a protest march and a Bharat Bandh had been conducted by members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes communities in Morena against the dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Holkar, being a journalist for 'Dainik Chambal Surkhi', was covering the protests, along with journalists.

Ayyubi submitted that Holkar was doing his duty by timely updating the concerned police officers of the situation and had also tried to pacify the crowd by warning them against taking law in their hands. However, subsequently, five FIRs were registered against him, implicating him as a participant in the protest.

The Court, after considering the submissions, issued notice and stayed proceedings in the FIR.

Filed by Ayyubi and drafted by Advocate Ibad Mushtaq, the plea has been preferred against the 4th September, 2020 Order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court which had dismissed the plea preferred by the Petitioner, seeking for the quashing of an FIR, despite the fact that a detailed inquiry conducted by the Sub-Divisional Officer (Police) had found that the FIRs registered had no basis of truth.

"The unreasonable investigation and victimization of the present petitioner at the behest of erring policeman with foul and malafide intent is evident from the fact that while the SDO(P) in an inquiry constituted upon directions of the SP, Morena has found the Petitioner to not have been involved in any of the alleged offences in the said 5 FIRs, he has been differently treated in the proceedings arising from the aforesaid 5 FIRs", the plea stated.

The plea contends that the Madhya Pradesh High Court, after noting the reliance placed by the Petitioner on the judgement of State of Haryana v Bhajan Lal fails to test the present case on the guidelines as laid down in Bhajan Lal, despite the present case falling squarely in the category set out by the Supreme Court.

In light of the above, the instant appeal has been filed before the Supreme Court.

Click here to download the order

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