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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

'This Arrest Itself Appears To Be A Criminal Act'

Press Council Chairman demands that the Maharashtra CM " immediately order the suspension, arrest, chargesheeting and criminal prosecution of the police personnel" who arrested a girl for protesting on Facebook against Mumbai bandh on Bal Thackeray'

'This Arrest Itself Appears To Be A Criminal Act'
'This Arrest Itself Appears To Be A Criminal Act'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

A Letter to Maharashtra CM

To
The Chief Minister
Maharashtra

Dear Chief Minister,

I am forwarding an email I have received stating that a woman in Maharashtra has been arrested for protesting on Facebook against the shut down in Mumbai on the occasion of the death of Mr. Bal Thackeray. 

It is alleged that she has been arrested for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.

To my mind it is absurd to say that protesting against a bandh hurts religious sentiments. 

Under Article 19(1)(a) of our Constitution freedom of speech is a guaranteed fundamental right . We are living in a democracy, not a fascist dictatorship. In fact this arrest itself appears to be a criminal act since under sections 341 and 342 it is a crime to wrongfully arrest or wrongfully confine someone who has committed no crime.

Hence if the facts reported are correct, I request you to immediately order the suspension, arrest, chargesheeting and criminal prosecution of the police personnel (however high they may be) who ordered as well as implemented the arrest of that woman, failing which I will deem it that you as Chief Minister are unable to run the state in a democratic manner as envisaged by the Constitution to which you have taken oath, and then the legal consequences will follow 

Regards
Justice Katju

(Chairman, Press Council of India, and former Judge, Supreme Court of India)

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