Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

SC asks petitioner to produce details in plea quashing of FIRs lodged for criticising Centre on vaccine policies

ANI | Updated: Jul 19, 2021 14:44 IST


New Delhi [India], July 19 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday asked the petitioner lawyer, Pradeep Kumar Yadav, to "produce the details and FIRs" within a week before it in connection with his PIL seeking the immediate direction of quashing of the FIRs registered against, 24 persons for putting up advertisements, posters and brochures for criticising the Central government's COVID-19 vaccination policy.
"Get the details and produce the details and the FIRS," in the case, so that we can go forward in hearing your Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by you (Pradeep Kumar Yadav) a two-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Dr Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and also comprising Justice M R Shah said.
During the course of the hearing, Justice Chandrachud asked the petitioner-cum-lawyer, Pradeep Kumar Yadav, to file at least about some particular First Information Report (FIR) so that this Court can go forward in pursuing the case.
"Please don't read newspapers and file the PIL," Justice Chandrachud questioned the petitioner, Yadav.
Yadav had filed the PIL before the Supreme Court seeking the immediate direction of quashing of the FIRs registered against, at least, 24 persons for putting up advertisements, posters and brochures for criticising the Central government's COVID-19 vaccination policy.
The petitioner-cum-lawyer, Yadav, in his petition filed before the Supreme Court immediately sought appropriate orders and or directions in the matter.
Justice Chandrachud also asked, "Give us some details about some cases (FIR) and how we will proceed without this?"
The apex court gave time to Yadav to file his details about the FIR within a week and posted the matter for further hearing after he filed his reply before the Court.
The judge also asked the lawyer that you want a general direction of quashing of the FIRs registered at various places.
Justice Chandrachud asked Yadav, whether any person has been arrested so far in the case, to which, Yadav replied one person has been arrested and released on bail and the FIR is pending.
Yadav, the petitioner-in-person (PIP) in his plea filed before the Supreme Court, sought quashing of these FIRs/complaints directing the Commissioner of Police, DGP, not to register any FIR against these persons for their posting in relation to COVID-19 advertisements/brochures and posters for criticising the Central government's COVID-19 vaccination policy.
"If the citizens have questioned about the status of the Centre's vacations policy, then, they have not committed any offence for this," Yadav told ANI.
The petitioner in person, Yadav, in his petition filed before the apex court, said the Court in a number of cases has held that freedom of speech and expression with regard to the public cause is a fundamental right of every citizen guaranteed under the Constitution of India.
Further this Court in Shreya Singhal against the Central government case, set aside the Section 66-A of Information Technology (IT) Act, which constitutes an offence for sharing information in social media, and it has held that information sharing in the social media does not constitute any criminal offence under the IT Act, Yadav in his petition said.
Recently the Supreme Court in the suo motu cognisance case also passed a specific direction to the respondent state authorities not to register any criminal case over the public seeking medical help in the social media, Yadav said, in his petition, a copy accessed and received by ANI, from Yadav, revealed.
He further, in his petition filed before the top court, said in contrary to the above decision of this Court, the authorities and police are registering FIR against the innocent persons over their hate speech against the Prime Minister with regard to his official functions over the second wave of COVID-19 crises and government vaccine policies.
Yadav, in his petition filed before the Supreme Court, said a 19-year-old school dropout, a 30-year-old e-rickshaw driver, a 61-year-old maker of wooden frames -- are among the 25 arrested by Delhi Police, in the middle of a raging pandemic, for allegedly pasting posters with comments critical of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, regarding his Covid vaccination policy.
The string of arrests from across the capital started late on May 12 after the Special Branch informed Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava about the posters that read, "Modi ji hamare bachon ki vaccine videsh kyon bhej diya" (Why did you send our children's vaccines abroad?)", the petition filed by Yadav, before the Supreme Court stated. (ANI)

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