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No coercive action, interim order to continue in Vinod Dua sedition case: SC

ANI | Updated: Sep 18, 2020 21:54 IST


New Delhi [India], September 18 (ANI): Supreme Court on Friday extended the interim protection from arrest and no coercive action till further hearing on September 24, Thursday, against veteran noted journalist, Vinod Dua, in connection with a sedition case registered against him in Himachal Pradesh.
A three-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, today, extended the interim order that no coercive actions, including no arresting of Vinod Dua, can be made till further hearing in the case, on September 24.
Dua is accused of allegedly making certain statements in his YouTube program, The Vinod Dua show, which were allegedly of the nature to incite communal hatred and may lead to some kind of breach of peace and communal disharmony, the prosecution stated.
The state of Himachal Pradesh police had earlier also submitted its report in a sealed cover, before the Supreme Court regarding the probe against journalist Vinod Dua for sedition charges.
Senior Supreme Court lawyer and former Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Vikas Singh, appearing for the accused - Vinod Dua, had submitted to the Apex Court that the accused, Dua, being a journalist has all the rights to freedom of speech and have also the legitimate right to criticise the government.
Singh also had said that where is the sedition? Sedition is when you incite violence. When you incite public disorder, but where it is in my case? The government allows participation of public and this basic feature. Democracy can neither work, nor prosper, if people don't go out and share their views.
The top court was hearing the petition filed by veteran journalist, Vinod Dua, against sedition and quashing of the FIR lodged against Dua, in Shimla for his YouTube video, against the Central government.

Now the Apex Court will take up the issue for further hearing to September 24, Thursday.
Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, senior lawyer appearing for the party who lodged an FIR against Dua in Shimla, said that this gentleman (Vinod Dua) has a leaning against the government. He had made false statements that Government did not have enough covid testing means without any backing to them. He has made allegations without any substance in a widely viewed broadcast.
Jethmalani further said that he is allegedly trying to incite riots by showing there is a food shortage or by saying that there will be food shortage because supply chains are blocked.
Jethmalani said, Dua has asked people to raise their voice, come out on the streets and be violent like Americans have become, despite the lockdown. This man has tried to exploit a gigantic pandemic.
He has made derogatory statements against the CJI. He has made a statement against the PM, he has abused him too, Jethmalani argued.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, senior law officer for the Union, said that
journalists are to be treated like ordinary citizens. On lack of territorial jurisdiction, FIRs cannot be quashed and neither can the police deny.
The Apex Court will now take up the matter for further hearing till September 24, Thursday. (ANI)

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