Celebs have greater responsibility of choosing their words in public: HC on Yuvraj’s plea
The Punjab and Haryana high court has said that celebrities have greater responsibility in using a term in public or social media platforms as the same can be misinterpreted.
The HC bench of justice Amol Rattan Singh, in its order on the plea of former cricket Yuvraj Singh, observed that Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention and Atrocities) Act, 1989, was enacted to safeguard the interests of a section of society that has been known to be oppressed since ages.
“Naturally any violation of the provisions of the said Act have to be dealt with strictly to try and ensure that a sense of well being is instilled in such sections of society, towards which every person, and celebrities in particular, should be careful in the usage of any term which can be misinterpreted,” the bench observed in its order released on Saturday.
It was on Thursday that the HC had asked the Haryana Police to not take any coercive action against the former cricketer in the criminal case registered in Hisar district. The FIR was registered on complaint of one Rajat Kalsan, of Hansi, under Sections 153A (promoting enmity) and 153B (assertions prejudicial to national-integration) of the Indian Penal Code and under the SC/ST Act.
The FIR was registered on February 14, eight months after Yuvraj Singh had apologised for the “unintentional remarks” made during an Instagram live video in April 2020. The former cricketer is seeking quashing of the FIR.
Earlier, the complainant’s counsel had told court that the former cricketer, being a celebrity, has crores of followers on social media and the chat in question would have been followed by all of them, as also by the followers of his celebrity friends with whom he was in conversation.
Yuvraj had argued that the person in reference, to whom the alleged casteist remarks are stated to have been made, does not belong to a scheduled caste. He said that the statement was made in context of somebody being in an inebriated condition.
The court further observed that the term in question is being subjected to two interpretations - as to whether it was used against any particular community or in reference to a person in an inebriated condition, with the person concerned admittedly not belonging to any scheduled caste, which the court would have to adjudicate.