Bombay HC quashes FIR against woman for tweeting against PM, CM

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The Bombay High Court on Wednesday quashed the FIR against local resident Sunaina Holey for tweeting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son and Minister Aditya Thackeray on COVID-19 and migrants.

A division bench of justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik said, “by no stretch of imagination can it be said that her tweets (three) created enmity or hatred between communities.”

The bench said, “Assuming that the said tweet is an extreme view in retaliation for the expression by a person in the crowd who was blaming the prime minister of India, the said tweet is yet to be judged from the mind of a strong prudent person.”

Ms. Holey was arrested in August 2020 by the Bandra Kurla Complex Cyber Crime station and booked under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 500 (punishment for defamation) and 505 2 (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) of the Indian Penal Code.

Her first tweet was a video of a man who blames Mr. Modi for the coronavirus. She had written, “How can someone blame the PM for COVID when it is an act of God?”

In her second tweet, she posted a caricature of Mr. Thackeray and his son, and in the third one, she argued with a person and allegedly used abusive language because he told her she cannot criticise Maharashtra’s leaders as she is not a Maharashtrian.

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