Bombay HC questions Maha govt on FIR against woman for tweet

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Mumbai, Dec 1 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the Maharashtra government if it intended to take action against every person who says something objectionable on Twitter.

A bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik was hearing a plea filed by city resident Sunaina Holey who was booked by Mumbai and Palghar police for tweets against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya.

Holey, in her plea filed through advocate Abhinav Chandrachud, has sought that the FIR against her be quashed.

On Tuesday, Chandrachud told HC that Holey was merely expressing her opinion and criticising the policy of the state government through her tweet.

The state counsel, YP Yagnik, however, said Holey couldn't go scot-free, adding that she and the public in general must show restraint in their criticism of political parties and policies.

The bench agreed that a person's fundamental right to free speech cannot breach another person's fundamental rights, but added that public offices in a democracy have to face criticism from the public.

'Ultimately the society has to find a balance between the society and individual rights. Will you act against every person who says something on Twitter? How many actions will you have to take?' the bench said.

Advocate Yagnik said police was probing the intent behind Holey's tweet.

At this, the bench asked if the FIR against Holey could be quashed straight away based on averments in the FIR, or, if the court must wait for the police probe in the case to conclude.

It asked advocate Chandrachud to assist the court on this aspect on Wednesday. PTI AYA BNM BNM