Protecting the appropriate to voice one’s views


The Supreme Court (SC) pulled up the Tripura Police on Monday for notices despatched to individuals for social media posts about alleged communal violence, regardless of its interim restraining order on January 10. The SC bench was listening to a plea filed by journalist Samiullah Shabbir Khan in opposition to a discover issued by Tripura Police for posts made after vandalism incidents have been reported in October-November 2021. In his tweets, Mr Khan acknowledged that 12 mosques have been vandalised in acts of anti-Muslim violence. Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta assured the SC that Tripura will adjust to the courtroom order.

The SC bench made three crucial observations: First, the state authorities’s disinclination to adjust to the courtroom’s interim order; second, that the state police is “harassing people” with such notices; and third, individuals must knock on the SC’s doorways to defend their primary rights. Mr Khan is the fourth litigant earlier than the SC who confronted a probe for posts on the identical situation. And that is additionally not the primary time the SC has requested states to not act in opposition to individuals airing their grievances. In May 2021, it warned states in opposition to reserving individuals for posts on the shortage of oxygen and hospital beds for Covid-19 sufferers.

Tripura and different state governments should perceive the import of the SC’s observations and desist from taking illegal motion in opposition to residents. As justice Chandrachud mentioned final 12 months, a “blanket labeling” of dissent as anti-national strikes on the coronary heart of the nation’s dedication to guard constitutional values ​​and promote deliberative democracy. Any name to violence have to be strongly handled, however state equipment should desist from charging individuals for merely sharing their views.

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