Mumbai, Dec. 2 -- Two cabin crew members of Air India who were arrested by the cyber police on the charge of posting defamatory material on Facebook in May, have written a letter to the police asking for departmental action against five police officers. This is one of the three cases, apart from the recent Palghar arrests, whose details have been sought by the Supreme Court in connection with a PIL regarding the scrapping of section 66 A of the IT act.
KVJ Rao and Mayank Sharma had been arrested by the cyber police on May 11, and were behind bars till May 22 when they were granted bail. A letter from Rao and Sharma addressed to the additional commissioner of police (crime) Niket Kaushik seeks action against five officers, who according to them are guilty of illegally impounding their passports and id cards.
Rao said, "When even the court had not restricted us from moving out of the country, why did the cyber police station impound our passports? The police did not have any right to impound our passports. As per a Supreme Court ruling, neither the police nor the courts have a right to impound passports. In exceptional cases, the accused is asked to surrender the passport to the passport office."
The two had to struggle to get back their passport even after their release, they said. "I wrote several letters to the senior inspector of BKC cyber police station and emailed the deputy commissioner, however they asked us to approach the court to get our passports back. Following this I approached the high court."
"It was only when the high court questioned the police on this that we got our passports back on October 25."
When contacted Kaushik said, "I have not gone through the contents of the letter as yet. The incident took place before I took over as the additional commissioner, so I would not be able to comment on it off hand."
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.