A Delhi court on Monday asked city Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik to file an action taken report (ATR) on a complaint against Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in which the latter has been accused of posting misleading tweets on social media during the Jamia Millia Islamia university violence last year.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja gave the direction to the police chief after dismissing an ATR submitted by a Delhi Police sub-inspector who gave a clean chit to Sisodia claiming that “no cognisable offence is made out from the content of the tweets posted by Sisodia”.
The ATR said, “Sisodia only tweeted his opinion on a video clip that was running on news channels.”
The court asked the police commissioner to file the report on the next date of hearing.
The complaint by Supreme Court advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava has alleged Sisodia spread fake news that Delhi Police personnel had set DTC buses ablaze during violence, which erupted at Jamia Nagar area of the national capital on December 15 last year in the aftermath of the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
It has sought a direction to the police to register an FIR against Sisodia for offences under sections 153, 153-A, 504 and 505 of the Indian Penal Code, besides provisions of the Information Technology Act
Sections 153 and 153-A of IPC provide for punishment for indulging in wanton vilification or attacks upon the religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc of any particular group or class or upon the founders and prophets of a religion.
The sections allow the guilty to be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
Sections 504 and 505 of IPC relate to punishment for intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community, and provide for prison term which may be between three and five years, or with fine, or with both.
In the previous hearing, Srivastava had assailed Sisodia for his lapse in judgement in publishing an inflammatory tweet, calling it “utterly baseless and false”.
According to the complaint, Sisodia had posted pictures of police officials pouring liquid on stationary and damaged buses. In his tweet blamed, the AAP leader had alleged BJP was using Delhi Police to aggravate the tension at the affected site.
It was subsequently found that the policemen were trying to douse the fire using water and fire extinguishers, it has said.
At least three DTC buses were set on fire in the Bharat Nagar area of Delhi on December 15 after a demonstration against CAA turned violent in the area.