Objectionable Facebook comments against Lord Shiva: Allahabad High Court refuses to quash proceedings

Allahabad High Court

Allahabad High Court: In an application under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 challenging the proceedings for offences under Sections 153-A and 295-A of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, J.J. Munir, J. rejected to quash the proceedings against the accused for posting objectionable comments on Facebook against Lord Shiva

The allegation against the accused is that he has posted objectionable comments on his Facebook Account, regarding Lord Shiva, employing objectionable language, which has hurt religious sentiments of the Hindu Community. There have been further comments fomenting communal hatred by the other co-accused, in the comments section of the Facebook Account.

The Court said that if there is a comment which has the tendency to promote enmity between different groups, on the grounds of religion, posting it on one’s Facebook would certainly constitute an offence. The words employed in the post clearly are ones made with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of a particular section of the community or a class of citizens of the country. Even if the said comments have been endorsed by the accused by posting them on his Facebook, it will not matter whether he is the author or the exponent of the comments. Thus, the Court opined that there is absolutely no good ground to quash the proceedings in exercise of powers under Section 482 CrPC.

[Asif v State of U.P., 2023 SCC OnLine All 129, decided on 06-04-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Counsel for Accused/Applicant: Advocate Gauri Shanker Mishra;

Counsel for Opposite Party: Government Advocate.

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