Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Supreme Court refuses plea seeking censor on future media posts by Kangana Ranaut

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The Supreme Court on Friday quashed a petition that sought censor on all future social media posts by Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut.

The Bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Bela M Trivedi made it clear that the Court will not entertain third party petitions in such a case.

The plea further sought transfer of all pending first information reports (FIRs) registered against Ranaut across India to Khar Police Station in Mumbai.

It prayed that charge sheets in those cases be submitted in six months and trial be completed in two years.

The petition, filed by petitioner-in-person Sardar Charanjeet Singh Chanderpal, sought a direction to the Union Home Ministry, IT Ministry, TRAI and Police Authorities of different states to take preventive action on social media against Kangana Ranaut. The petition also prayed for all FIRs lodged against Ranaut across the country to be clubbed together and be investigated by Mumbai Police.

Chanderpal claimed that he was tremendously hurt by an Instagram post of Ranaut, which stated “Sikh Farmers were Khalistani Terrorists”.

Justice Chandrachud said, “If a person has said something which is the subject matter of an investigation by the police, we are not saying anything about it at all. That is being investigated by the police, subject to the rights of the accused. But we cannot carry out this function of clubbing all FIRs. If the accused comes here and says ‘there are 25 FIRs in different states, please club’, then we can do it but not at the behest of a third party”

The plea alleged that the Instagram post justified the anti-Sikh genocide of 1984.

“(It) upholds the genocide of 1984, means that Sikhs should be treated as a lower race like unwanted mosquitoes and they need a Guru like Mrs. Indira Gandhi when the Eternal Guru of the Sikhs is Guru Granth Sahibjee,” the petition said.

It further stated that these kind of statements could develop racial discrimination and hate, based on difference in faith and could even lead to riots, the plea contended.

The remarks by Ranaut were not only outrageous, defamatory and blasphemous, but also intended to cause riots, hurt religious sentiments, and portray Sikhs “in a totally anti-national manner,” noted the plea.
“It justifies innocent killing of Sikhs. The remarks are totally against the unity of our country and the actress deserves a serious punishment under law. They cannot be brushed aside or excused,” it added.

To this, Justice Chandrachud said, “Don’t politicise it now by giving wind to what she has said. You are doing your cause a disservice by publicising what she has said. The more you publicise it, the more you serve her cause. So please stop repeating.”

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