Gujarat High Court Quashes Sedition Case Against Journalist Who Reported On Possible Change In State Leadership [Read Order]

first_imgNews UpdatesGujarat High Court Quashes Sedition Case Against Journalist Who Reported On Possible Change In State Leadership [Read Order] Sparsh Upadhyay8 Nov 2020 9:08 PMShare This – xThe Gujarat High Court on Friday (06th November) quashed a sedition case registered against a Journalist Dhaval Rajnikant Patel (editor of online Gujarati news portal Face of Nation) for allegedly publishing a report on a possible change in state leadership due to criticism over the rising number of COVD-19 cases in the State.The Bench of Justice R. P. Dholaria quashed the case, after Patel…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Gujarat High Court on Friday (06th November) quashed a sedition case registered against a Journalist Dhaval Rajnikant Patel (editor of online Gujarati news portal Face of Nation) for allegedly publishing a report on a possible change in state leadership due to criticism over the rising number of COVD-19 cases in the State.The Bench of Justice R. P. Dholaria quashed the case, after Patel filed an unconditional apology “without admission of any guilt” for the “allegedly offending article”.BackgroundAs states, the Petitioner/Journalist, Dhaval Rajnikant Patel is working as Journalist and allegedly, he published an article in the Web Portal called “Face of the Nation” wherein he stated that looking to the failure of the Honourable Chief Minister of Gujarat, he is likely to be replaced.He had also named the replacing of the Honourable Chief Minister which led to filing of the complaint against him by the CID Crime and therefore, the petitioner moved an application before the High Court for the quashment of the complaint which was entertained and placed for final hearing.The Advocate for the petitioner indicated before the Court that the petitioner tendered unconditional apology wherein he stated,”I tender my unconditional apology for the allegedly offending article published by me in my web portal face of the Nation basis which the impugned FIR has been registered against me. My unconditional apology is without prejudice and without admission of any guilt.”Court’s OrderUpon hearing the Advocates for parties and considering the submissions advanced by the Counsel for the Petitioner, the Court said,”Since the present petitioner is a young journalist and he has begun his career and that from the deepest corner of his heart, the petitioner has tendered apology as quoted above and therefore, this Court is satisfied with the apology tendered by the petitioner.”Under the circumstances, the Court was of the considered opinion that the interest of justice would be served if the proceedings/FIR are quashed. Accordingly, the petition stood allowed.The impugned FIR/proceedings were quashed and set aside with “caution to the petitioner that as and when he may publish an article in future, no such comments be used against any constitutional functionaries without verification and he shall be cautious of not repeating the same.”According to a report of The Indian Express, Dhaval Patel, was booked under Indian Penal Code Section 124A for sedition and Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act (punishment for false warning) by the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) on May 11 for “trying to create unrest in society”, for allegedly writing and publishing a report on his portal on May 7 titled “Mansukh Mandaviya called by high command, chances of leadership change in Gujarat”.It may be noted that the Punjab & Haryana High Court on Friday (30th October) made an observation that “in a democracy, every citizen has a right to voice his/her opinion freely and criticize the functioning of the Government.”The Bench of Justice Sudhir Mittal further remarked that,”The State needs to be more tolerant and circumspect while invoking laws pertaining to sedition and religious disaffection. The current tendency to the contrary has been frowned upon by the Supreme Court of India.”Further, the Uttarakhand High Court, while granting interim bail to a Journalist had recently stated,”What troubles more is as to how Section 124-A IPC is added? Even if for the sake of arguments, it is admitted that some allegations were levelled against some high functionary, does it per se amount to sedition, which is punishable under Section 124-A IPC? Why was the State in such haste? Is it a cruel hand of the State, which is running over? Many questions would perhaps also require an answer in this bail.” (emphasis supplied)Case title – Dhaval Rajnikant Patel v. State Of Gujarat [R/Special Criminal Application No. 2301 of 2020]Click Here To Download Order[Read Order]Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

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