No coercive action against ex-cricketer Yuvraj till further orders: HC to Haryana
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday asked the Haryana Police to not to take any coercive action against former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh in a criminal case registered in Hisar district earlier this month on allegations of making casteist remarks.
The HC bench of justice Amol Rattan Singh, while acting on a plea seeking quashing of the FIR, has sought response by March 26. “Court has directed that no coercive action be taken against the petitioner,” said, Vibhav Jain, who appeared along with senior advocate Puneet Bali. A detailed order from the court is yet to be released.
The FIR was registered on February 14, eight months after Yuvraj had apologised for the “unintentional remarks” made during an Instagram live video in April 2020.
The FIR was registered on complaint of one Rajat Kalsan of Hansi under Section 153 A (promoting enmity) and 153B (assertions prejudicial to national-integration) of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Prevention and Atrocities Act 1989.
“The remark was misunderstood and was widely shared on the social media, triggering outrage. The petitioner is a victim of gross prosecution and harassment meted out by the complainant who has initiated malicious prosecution,” the plea stated, adding that the live session happened in April 2020 and in June the video started circulating with allegations that the cricketer disrespected the Dalit community as he addressed two of his colleagues as “Bhangi”.
An apology was issued on June 5, but complaints were filed against him, the latest one resulting in an FIR on February 14, the plea states, adding that all this was done in an attempt to harm his reputation.
“The petitioner addressed his colleagues in a friendly manner but conveniently the issue was portrayed as an act in violation of the SC/ ST Act,” the plea states.
“In the FIR, there is neither any averment of either promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion/ race/ place of birth residence/ language etc or doing any acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony. Hence, the Sections invoked deserve to be set aside,” the plea states.