Police registers FIR for social media criticism of J&K HC verdict
‘Comments aimed to disrepute HC & cause disharmony'
Srinagar, June 7: The Jammu and Kashmir Police have registered an FIR related to the social media criticism of a recent verdict by a division bench of the high court, which had upheld the detention of Kashmir Bar President Mian Qayoom under Public Safety Act.
Police said that the information received “prima facie” reveals that the criticism of the judgment was not only aimed at demeaning the judges of the High Court but also causing disharmony in the general public.
In a statement it said that Police Station Shaheed Ganj “received information from reliable sources that certain comments have been uploaded on social media in respect of a recent judgement passed by a division Bench of High Court of J&K.
“It prima-facie reveals that the comments so uploaded on social media had been made with the intention not only to disrepute the Hon'ble High Court but also causing disharmony in the general public and thereby making an attempt at dissuading the general public from reposing faith in the institution of judiciary”, it said, adding that the “comments are also aimed to push the miscreants to cause public disorder in the society.”
On May 28, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Vinod Chatterjee Koul dismissed Qayoom's petition seeking his release and asked if the detainee had shunned his separatist ideology.
Asked about the nature of the FIR, the Sub-Divisional Police Officer concerned refused to share the details of the FIR. He however added that “it is an open FIR” and that the case has been registered under sections 153A and 505IPC.
On the other hand sources indicated that the police has identified around over a dozen accused persons based on their social media comments related to the judgment. Sources also indicated that the FIR has not been lodged on the complaint of any “judge” or court official.
Terming the FIR uncalled for, the lawyer community in Kashmir say police should leave it to the court to decide if the comments amount to contempt of the court or not.
“I think the police should leave it to the Court to decide what undermines the Court's majesty and what not. At the worst it can be a case of Contempt but an FIR is totally unjustified & uncalled for,” lawyer advocate Habeel Iqbal said, adding that he is reminded of what Justice Chandrachud of the Supreme Court said recently.