The Apex court refused to entertain a plea filed by ARG outlier media Ltd against FIR registered by the Mumbai Police against its editors
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a writ petition filed by ARG Outlier Media Ltd (which runs Republic TV channels) against a FIR registered by the Mumbai police against its editors & reporters for allegedly trying to cause “disaffection” among members of the police personnel.
A Bench headed by CJI SA Bobde asked the Petitioners to approach the Bombay High Court as the “entire cause of action has arisen in Maharashtra”.
The petition has been dismissed as withdrawn with liberty to approach Bombay High Court.
Republic TV and its employees were booked by the Mumbai Police for allegedly defaming the service and trying to cause “disaffection” among members of the police personnel.
The FIR was registered at NK Joshimarg police station under section 3(1) of the Police (Incitement to Disaffection) Act, 1922, and under Section 500 (Defamation) of IPC, on a complaint filed by sub-inspector Shashikant Pawar of the Special Branch.
The channel had sought quashing of this FIR, stating that the channel was only reporting the views expressed by “certain right-minded members of the political dispensation in Maharashtra as well as within the police forces in Mumbai against the brazen manner in which Respondent No. 3 (Param Bir Singh) had conducted himself”.
Senior Advocate Siddharth Bhatnagar, appearing for ARG Outlier submitted that the Petitioner also challenges the “Police (Incitement to Disaffection) Act, 1922” as being unconstitutional and violative of Article 19(1)(a), 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution.
“It was colonial act made to regulate nationalistic activities and now it is being used to curb fundamental rights,” he said.At this juncture, the CJI asked the Petitioner as to why it had not approached the High Court.
“The Bombay High Court has already upheld the constitutionality of the Act,” Bhatnagar responded.Unconvinced by this submission, the CJI said that the entire cause of action has arisen in Maharashtra and therefore the parties must first approach the Bombay High Court.