Published On : Tue, Oct 13th, 2020

Nagpur resident booked for posting objectionable tweets against CM Uddhav Thackeray

Aaditya directed to appear before Mumbai cyber cell..

Mumbai/ Nagpur: The Bombay high court (HC) has directed Nagpur resident Sameet Thakkar, booked for making derogatory statements against chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray and his son and environment minister Aditya Thackeray on social media, to appear before the cyber cell of the Mumbai Police at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) on October 16. The court has also directed Thakkar to hand over his mobile phone to investigators and posted the matter for hearing on October 23.

A division bench of justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik, while hearing the plea of Thakkar to quash the multiple first information reports (FIRs) filed against him for the alleged objectionable tweets against the CM and Aaditya, was informed by advocate Dr Abhinav Chandrachud that Thakkar had got interim protection from a Nagpur bench of the HC in a similar plea there.

Dr Chandrachud then informed that as per court directions in the previous hearing, his client had attended the VP Road police station where the FIRs was registered against him and had also recorded his statement there. However, he had to leave the police station in a hurry as he was informed that a police team from the cyber cell was coming to arrest him.

In light of this, Dr Chandrachud submitted that his client should not only be given protection but also be allowed to have an advocate with him when he goes to the police station. He assured the court that the lawyer would be at a distance from where he could see Thakkar but not hear the questioning by the police. He further submitted that Thakkar was incorrectly booked under section 505 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as he had not incited any hatred between any community with his tweets. The advocate claimed that the accused should have instead been booked under section 504 (intentionally insults, gives provocation to any person) of the IPC.

However, chief public prosecutor Deepak Thakare informed the court that Thakkar had not cooperated with the police, nor complied with the previous court order and had run away from VP Road police station without signing the statement. Thakare said that this was done at the behest of the accused’s lawyer who was present with him at the police station.

Thakare, however, submitted that if Thakkar was willing to attend the police station at VP Road and the cyber cell at BKC, police would consider his application to allow a lawyer to be present with him.

With regards to the threat of being arrested under one FIR or another, Thakare said that even though Thakkar had approached the court to quash the FIRs, he had not restrained himself from making objectionable tweets against political personalities. Thakare also submitted that Thakkar had not deposited his mobile phone to the investigators.

After hearing the submissions, the court directed Thakkar to attend the police station on October 16 between 11am and 1pm, and also asked him to deposit his mobile handset with the police.