Bombay high court rejects plea of a person booked for abusive tweets against Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and son Aaditya

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Published on Oct 23, 2020 11:48 PM IST
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ByPradip Kumar Maitra, Nagpur

A petitioner who sought protection from coercive action by the police for defamatory tweets against chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya Thackeray over the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput – drew a sharp reaction from the Bombay high court. The court had directed the petitioner, Sameer Thakkar, to cooperate with the investigating officer which he did not follow. This led the court to dismiss his petition.

Thakkar was granted interim protection by the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court on August 28. He was booked by the local Sitabuldi police for the tweets under sections of 292 (punishment for obscene acts or words in public) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and provisions of Information Technology Act on a Shiv Sena activist’s complaint.

Seeking the court’s intervention, the petitioner prayed for quashing FIR against him and demanded security in wake of alleged threats from Shiv Sena activists. Apart from granting Thakkar interim relief, the court had also directed not to file charge sheet if the investigation was completed during the pendency of the petition. The investigating officer, on October 12, informed the high court that the petitioner was not co-operating after which Thakkar was directed to report to Sitabuldi police station every day between 6pm and 8pm from October 13 onwards.

The petitioner filed an affidavit on October 20 informing the court that he had filed two more petitions before two high court benches, including Mumbai, where similar directives were issued. Therefore, it was very difficult for him to come to Nagpur to mark his presence every day. Thakkar had also moved the Supreme Court with his grievance.

A high court division bench, comprising justice Sunil Shukre and justice Avinash Gharote, while noting down petitioner’s difficulty in running from one station to another and attending the police stations, expressed surprise over failure to inform the investigating officer about his inability to come to Nagpur. The bench also wondered as to why the petitioner had not sought any modification of the order directing him to appear daily before Sitabuldi police at Nagpur.

“We can very well understand the petitioner’s difficulties in running from one police station to another. But, we can’t understand why he didn’t intimate the investigation officer about his difficulties. We also fail to understand why he hasn’t sought any modification of the high court’s earlier order till date that directed him to report to Sitabuldi police every day,” the judges said and added that “it appears that on the one hand, the petitioner seeks interim relief and on the other, he thinks he needn’t follow the conditions imposed by the high court under the impression that he can help himself without anybody’s assistance. If this is his conduct, the bench doesn’t think it would be appropriate for them to entertain this petition any further,” the bench observed.

Since Thakkar had already approached the Supreme Court, the high court dismissed the petition noting that considering the conduct of the petitioner it would not be appropriate to entertain the petition any further.

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