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Tripura HC quashes FIR against man who mocked BJP CAA campaign on Facebook

After examining the facts, the court decided that the charges framed against the accused are not applicable and quashed the FIR in question and set it aside.

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The Tripura High Court has quashed an FIR filed against a man for his Facebook post which is said to have put out misinformation about a mobile number publicized by the BJP in its efforts to drum up support for the Citizenship Amendment Act.

The Bench of Chief Justice Akil Kureshi was hearing the application of Arindam Bhattacharjee, who is accused to have instigated division among religious groups and creating an environment of misinformation.

When the protests were being held against the CAA, the BJP issued a phone number asking people to give a missed call on that number to show their support for the CAA. Later, Bhattacharjee put out a post on Facebook in which he said that if anybody called the number from their cell phone, both the phone will be hacked along with damage to data saved on it.

After examining the facts, Chief Justice Akil Kureshi said that the charges framed against the accused are not applicable and quashed the FIR in question and set it aside.

The court noted that the acts of the petitioner would undoubtedly create an impression in the mind of the caller that calling the number is not safe and this act would undoubtedly affect the campaigning of the complainant. However, the issue before this court is of the FIR and the charges mentioned in the FIR, the court has restricted itself to judge on the FIR and the charges of the FIR only, the accused is charged under 120B, 153A and 505 of the IPC.

On account of the first charge that is placed under Section 120B of the IPC, Section 120B defines the punishment of criminal conspiracy and Section 120A defines the term criminal conspiracy. The section talks about the agreement to do an offense or an act which may not be illegal but is to be done in an illegal manner. However one of the most essential elements of criminal conspiracy is that there needs to be an agreement between the co conspirators, here there is no allegation or proof pointing towards an agreement between two people or even the existence co conspirators.

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On account of Section 153B, the actions of the petitioner are not such that shall divide the general public on religious, communal or lingual lines or make the public believe that just because they follow a particular religion, belong to a particular committee or speak a particular language they shall not bear true faith in the Indian constitution, the acts of the petitioner certainly do not threaten or compromise the national integration of the country.

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