Rajasthan HC Grants Interim Relief To TV Journalist Aman Chopra
The Rajasthan High Court passed an interim order directing the Centre/State Government to refrain from registering any FIRs under Section 124-A of Indian Penal Code and keep all pending matters in abeyance during the period that Section 124-A of IPC is being reconsidered.
Soon after the Supreme Court's verdict on Wednesday directing to keep all pending sedition matters in abeyance, the Rajasthan High Court came to the rescue of News 18 Journalist Aman Chopra in connection with the Alwar riots case. In view of the directions of the Court, the Investigating officer is barred from pursuing the investigation under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code against the Journalist.
Read the full text of the order below:
Learned Senior Counsel Mr. Luthra and Mr. Bhandari, inform the Court that Hon’ble the Supreme Court, while hearing the matters relating to ‘sedition’ in S. G. Vombatkere Vs. Union of Indian (WPC No.682/2021) along with Editors Guild of India & Anr. Vs. Union of India & Ors. (WPC No.552/2021) has passed an interim order directing the Centre/State Government to refrain from registering any FIRs under Section 124-A of Indian Penal Code and keep all pending matters in abeyance during the period that Section 124-A of IPC is being reconsidered.
2. This Court has viewed the contentious debate recorded on a C.D. provided by the petitioner.
3. Having heard learned counsel for the parties at some length and considering the submissions made on facts so also on law, this Court is of the view that the investigation, including petitioner’s interrogation, is necessary before reaching any concrete conclusion regarding commission of offences alleged against the petitioner.
4. The petitioner is, therefore, directed to appear before the Investigating Officer, Police Station Bichhiwada, District Dungarpur on 16.05.2022 at 11.00 a.m.
5. The Investigating Officer shall carry out the investigation/interrogation by 5.00 p.m., whereafter the State would be free to pray for further opportunity for investigation (if required) on the next date of hearing, which is being fixed as 20.05.2022. He shall, however, not investigate the matter for allegations covered by Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code.
6. Till then, the petitioner shall not be arrested in relation to present FIR No.0147/2022 registered at Police Station Bichhiwada, District Dungarpur or in relation to any other FIR filed or likely to be filed concerning the programme ‘Desh Nahi Jhukne Denge’ aired at 8.00 p.m. on 22.04.2022.