The Andhra Pradesh High Court last week stayed the arrest of a man booked for allegedly posting a comment on Whatsapp group and Facebook against the Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy by resorting to morphing and thereby causing loss of reputation of a tribal woman MLA.
It was alleged that the petitioner, G. Veera Venkanna, made the comment in question to create a dispute between various groups, and therefore, a report was registered as a case for the offences punishable under Sections 153A, 505(2) r/w 34 IPC.
Staying probe in the matter and arrest of the petitioner in the case, the Bench of Justice Cheekati Manavendranath Roy observed thus:
“…the petitioner could make out a strong prima facie case warranting interference of this Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C to examine in the main Criminal Petition whether launching of criminal prosecution against the petitioner for the aforesaid two offences is legally sustainable or not and whether the said F.I.R is liable to be set aside or not.“
Submissions made by the petitioner’s counsel
Advocate KM Krishna Reddy, the counsel for the petitioner argued that the contents of the FIR did not satisfy the ingredients of the offences both under Sections 153A and 505(2) IPC.
It was primarily contended that there was nothing to indicate in the FIR that any comment was made by the petitioner on the ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community with an intention to create ill-will between religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities. Therefore, he would submit that no case is made out under Section 153A IPC.
Similarly, it was contended that the contents of the FIR did not show that any such comment was made on the ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community with an intent to create any such ill-will between the said groups and therefore, even Section 505 (2) IPC was not attracted in the case.
Case title – G. Veera Venkanna, vs The State Of Andhra Pradesh