"Every journalist entitled to protection under Kedar Nath judgment:" Supreme Court quashes sedition case against journalist Vinod Dua
The Supreme Court on Thursday threw out a sedition charge filed by the Himachal Pradesh Police against journalist Vinod Dua over a video he posted on YouTube last year criticising the Central government's execution of the Covid-19 ban. A bench of Justices UU Lalit and Vineet Saran rendered the decision. "The procedures and FIR have been annulled. Under the Kedar Nath Singh (sedition) judgement, every journalist would be entitled to protection "The Court made the decision. The Court, on the other hand, denied Dua's request that no FIR be filed against any media employee with more than ten years of experience unless it is cleared by an expert committee. We rejected the committee establishment prayer because it would directly infringe on legislative authority. The FIR against Vinod Dua, on the other hand, has been quashed, according to the Court. Although the Bench declined to stop the FIR filed in Himachal Pradesh by a BJP politician, the supreme court ordered temporary orders to safeguard Dua from arrest in the case in June 2020. On his YouTube show, 'Vinod Dua show,' Dua was accused of making certain claims. It was claimed that the words made in the episode that aired on March 30, 2020, were capable of inciting communal hatred and leading to a breach of peace and communal unrest. On the basis of a complaint lodged by BJP leader Ajay Shyam, a First Information Report was filed against him. He was charged with sedition (section 124A), public annoyance (section 268), printing defamatory matter (section 501), and intent to cause public harm under the Indian Penal Code (section 505). Dua was also charged with violating the Disaster Management Act, which included distributing misleading information and making fraudulent statements. In his plea to the Supreme Court, Dua said that the film in question critically examined the government of India's inadequacies over the declaration of statewide lockdown and how it was carried out. Dua's lawyer, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, argued that the claim that Dua's show triggered the migrant labour evacuation during the COVID-19 lockdown was an afterthought and not part of the case from the start. "The aforementioned rationale was just contrived to legitimise the FIR in some way," he stated. For the government, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju argued that the FIR cannot be quashed even if only one cognisable offence is established. Dua's case, according to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, was a basic one involving whether the powers of Section 482 CrPC or Article 32 of the Constitution should be used to dismiss the FIR.