AIB dog filter row: ‘Police should have sought Modi’s consent before FIR’
Mumbai city news: PM Narendra Modi or his relatives should have filed a case of defamation, said senior lawyer and activist Abha Singhmumbai Updated: Jul 20, 2017 16:11 IST
Legal experts have criticised the Mumbai police for registering a case of defamation and obscenity against All India Bakchod (AIB) following the group’s Twitter post about Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Senior lawyer and activist Abha Singh, through whom an FIR was registered against AIB for the group’s 2015 roast show, told HT that she “completely disagreed” with the police’s move.
“The IT Act has not been violated as far as obscenity is concerned. PM Narendra Modi or his relatives should have filed a case of defamation. No third party can register such a case. That is why no FIR was registered when similar complaints were made after AIB co-founder Tanmay Bhat was accused of insulting Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar,” she said.
However, she said the group’s humour was not in good taste.
“Comparing our Prime Minister to a dog amounts to defamation. But, in this case, Modi can ask the police to file an FIR or they can register a case on his behalf, but only if he consents. If the cops did not seek Modi’s consent beforehand, then they are misusing the law to intimidate people and curtail freedom of speech. The post was definitely not obscene,” said Dr Olav Albuquerque, a lawyer.
Well-known criminal lawyer Majeed Memon also said that only an aggrieved person could ask the police to file a defamation case. He added that AIB can approach the high court if they want to quash the FIR.
Cyber law advocate Vicky Shah disagreed. “Police were right to register a FIR. The court will decide the quantum of punishment based on the findings. Responsible citizens should not commit such offences,” he said.
Mumbai police spokesperson DCP Rashmi Karandikar released a press statement saying the police filed an FIR after asking their legal experts for advice.