SC restrains cops from acting against journalist’s tweet on Tripura violence

The Supreme Court on Monday passed an order restraining the Tripura police from taking any action against activist-journalist Samiullah Shabbir Khan’s tweets about violence in Tripura.

In the notice issued by the police to Twitter, it sought details of IP address and phone number for the purpose of investigation into the criminal cases registered against Khan, reported Live Law.

“Issue notice…Pending further order, there shall be an ad-interim direction staying the first respondent [SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE (CYBERCRIME)] from acting on the communication dated 22 November 2021 as against the petitioner to these proceedings,” directed the bench.

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The cyber cell had booked a First Information Report (FIR) against the petitioner under sections 153 A (Offense of rioting to be committed), 153 B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 469 (Forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 471 (Using as genuine a forged, document or electronic record), 503 ( Criminal intimidation), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 120 B ( Punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and section 13 of the UAPA

According to Live Law, Advocate Alam, representing the journalist, in addition to notice on the writ petition, sought a stay of the impugned notice seeking details of the Twitter user, as it amounts to an “invasion of privacy”.

The case against the journalist was booked on allegations of posting ‘distorted and objectionable’ news items around the violence in Tripura. It also suggested that the alleged targeted violence and allegations about lack of response from authorities are objectionable and constitute an offense because they might further create ‘communal disharmony’.

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