SC Extends Protection From Arrest to Veteran Journalist Vinod Dua

by Sidharth Pandey 3 years ago Views 1329

A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday extended the interim protection from arrest to veteran journalist Vinod Dua. The top court has also asked the Himachal Pradesh police, which had registered an FIR against the journalist last month, to complete its probe into the charges in the FIR and submit its report in a sealed cover before the 15th of this month when the court will hear the case.

BJP leader Ajay Shyam had filed the FIR against Dua on charges ranging from sedition, defamation and attempt to cause public mischief after the journalist had uploaded a video on social media on the 30th of March which had been critical of the manner in which lockdown was implemented by the Modi government. Dua had also in the video made a reference to the politicisation of the army’s response following the terror attack in Pulwama in February last year.

This is the second FIR against Dua related to the same video. The Delhi police had last month filed an FIR but the same had been stayed by the Delhi High Court. The Supreme Court while hearing the case on Tuesday wanted to verify whether the 'government is in right earnest'. Justice UU Lalit observed that asking questions like “why Dua with 45 years’ experience of journalism would rely on another newspaper article for his reportage was ‘not relevant’” and this “does not form any empirical evidence in a sedition case”.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday also told the Himachal Pradesh police that it will quash the FIR if it finds no merit in the allegations against Dua. The case has been listed for final hearing on the 15th of July. The Editors Guild of India along with several journalist unions had strongly condemned the FIRs against Dua.

(Feature image courtesy Twitter)

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