Allahabad High Court: In a writ petition seeking quashing of the FIR for the offences under Section 504 of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) and Section 66 of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008, wherein the accused allegedly called Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘ a virus who requires an urgent antidote’, the division bench of Anjani Kumar Mishra and Nand Prabha Shukla, JJ. said that prima facie, the words attributed to the accused do not fall within the purview of Section 504 IPC, therefore, the matter requires consideration. Further, it said that the petitioner may not be arrested consequent to the impugned FIR and directed that the protection should be available either till the next listing or till submission of police report, whichever is earlier.
The petitioner submitted that from the allegations in the FIR, no offence under Section 504 IPC or Section 66 of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 is made out. The statement attributed to the petitioner which is the basis of the FIR is that the Prime Minister has been called for a virus which requires an urgent antidote. It was submitted that these words cannot be said to be derogatory or indecent or to be such, which would fall within the purview of Section 504 IPC.
The Court noted that Section 504 IPC is attracted where any person intentionally insults another intending or knowing that the insult is likely to cause the person insulted to break the public peace or to commit an offence.
The accused submitted that the comment in any case was a political comment and was not made to provoke the Prime Minister to break the public peace.
The Court said that the petitioner may not be arrested consequent to the impugned FIR and directed that the protection should be available either till the next listing or till submission of police report, whichever is earlier.
[Mohd. Farhan v State of U.P., 2023 SCC OnLine All 294, Order dated: 12-06-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Counsel for Petitioner: Advocate Tabrez Ahmad, Advocate Aishwarya Pratap Singh,Advocate Sanjeet Kumar Dubey;
Counsel for Respondent: Government Advocate.