Supreme Court quashes FIR against Shillong Times Editor, Patricia Mukhim

DY365
DY365
Published: March 25,2021 03:01 PM
DY365

Story highlights

The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed the criminal case registered against Editor of Shillong Times Patricia Mukhim, in relation to a Facebook post by her decrying violence against non-tribal people

March 25, 2021: The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed the criminal case registered against Editor of Shillong Times Patricia Mukhim, in relation to a Facebook post by her decrying violence against non-tribal people in the State.



The judgment was delivered by a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Ravindra Bhat on a plea filed by Mukhim, against the Meghalaya High Court's order dismissing her plea to quash criminal proceedings.



The criminal proceedings pertained to a Facebook post published by Mukhim seeking action by the State against an attack on some non-tribal boys in Meghalaya.



A case was filed against Mukhim alleging the commission of offences under Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc), 500 (punishment for defamation) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.



Senior Advocate Vrinda Grover had argued for Mukhim that there was "no assuaging of feelings of a community which has been attacked brutally."



The plea before the Supreme Court stated that Mukhim is facing persecution for "speaking the truth and seeking enforcement of rule of law against perpetrators of hate crime, in exercise of her fundamental right as guaranteed under Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution of India."



It was submitted that a plain reading of her Facebook post would make it clear that the intent and purpose of the post "is to appeal for impartial enforcement of rule of law; equal treatment before the law of all citizens; condemnation of targeted violence against members of a minority group; an end to impunity for violence and thereby ensure peace and harmony between communities and groups."



The plea further stated that the offences under Section 500 and 505(c) IPC, being non-cognizable, cannot be investigated and prosecuted vide registration of an FIR in view of the statutory bar against such prosecution.



The petition before the Supreme Court was filed through Advocate-on-Record Prasanna S.