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Friday, September 24, 2021

Bombay HC questions MVA for FIR against Holey, says those holding public office must face criticism

The Bombay HC (High Court) questioned the Uddhav Thackeray led MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi) Maharashtra government for filing FIR (First Information Report) against Sunaina Holey for expressing her views on the social media (SM) platform Twitter and added that those who held public offices must be ready to face criticism.

A two-judge bench comprising of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik while hearing the plea filed by Holey through her advocate Abhinav Chandrachud requesting the quashing of the FIRs filed against her by the Mumbai and Palghar police, stated that youngsters must be allowed to express themselves freely so that they will know what is right and what is wrong.

The bench made it clear to Additional Public Prosecutor JP Yagnik that it did not prima facie agree with the case of the prosecution and questioned the government asking Yagnik “Will you act against every person who says something on Twitter? How many actions will you have to take?”

Although the bench accepted that one person’s fundamental right to speech cannot encroach upon the fundamental rights of another person it added that those holding public offices, however, must be open to criticism. Advocate Yagnik then submitted that the police were probing the intent behind Holey’s tweet and hence she should not be granted any relief at this point in time.

At this, the bench asked if the FIR against Holey could be quashed right away on the basis of the averments in the FIR or should the court wait for the police probe in the case to conclude. It has asked advocate Chandrachud to assist the court regarding this aspect on Wednesday when the next hearing in the case is scheduled to take place.

Both Sunaina Holey and Sameet Thakkar have been granted protection from arrest by the Bombay HC till such time as the next hearing takes place and the court pronounces its decision.

(Featured Image Source: OpIndia)


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