Supreme Court refuses to entertain plea to censor Kangana Ranaut’s posts
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea seeking censorship of actress Kangana Ranaut’s all future statements on social media, clubbing multiple FIRs lodged against her for remarks against the Sikh community and investigation by Mumbai police. It asked the petitioner either to ignore the utterances made by her or avail remedy under law. The top court also said that the petitioner, a member of the Sikh Community, as a public cannot seek clubbing of multiple FIRs, and only the accused or informant can seek such remedy.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Bela Trivedi told petitioner Sardar Charanjeet Singh Chanderpal, an advocate, appearing in person that remedy which he was seeking cannot be granted under Article 32 petition and he has to pursue relief under the criminal law.
“There are two possible solutions. Either you ignore the utterances made by her or avail remedy under law. We respect the community. We respect your faith…By speaking these utterances you are doing more disservice to the cause. Don’t try to prejudice the mind of the court. Don’t politicise it. We have read these utterances in your file. You don’t need to speak up”, the bench told Chanderpal, when he tried to read the remarks which Ranaut had made on social media.
Chanderpal said that he has filed an intervention application in the FIR quashing petition of Ranaut and is pursuing it.
The bench then ordered, “As regards to first relief is concerned, the petitioner-in-person states that he has already adopted proceedings for the purpose of availing of his remedies in accordance with law by instituting a private complaint. In view of the invocation of the remedy by the petitioner in person, we, therefore, request this court to treat the petition in so far prayer A (censoring social media posts) is concerned as being disposed of without being expressed any opinion by this court at the present stage”.
Chanderpal said that the actress is going on and on with her “outrageous” and “defamatory” statements that “Sikh Farmers were Khalistani Terrorists” and tried to portray the community as “anti-national”.
The bench told him, “Don’t you think that common Indian citizens understand this and know the differences?”
Justice Chandrachud said, “For, every wrong, there is a remedy available under the law. You are a practicing lawyer in Bombay High Court. You have appeared so many times before me”.
At the outset, the bench told Chanderpal that being a member of the bar, how can he seek transfer of FIRs against the actress. To which, he replied that he is a Sikh and can a person be permitted to be so reckless and make utterances in such a manner against a particular community.
“When we go to Gurudwara, when we go sit with the people, we see there are so many complaints. We are guided by our Guru and not by any human being. I am in tears, the way she said this”, he said.
Chanderpal told the bench that he was at the Singhu border, where Sikh farmers were protesting against the three (now repealed) farm laws and there is nothing about any Khalistani there.
Justice Chandrachud said, “Please be rest assured that we do not subscribe to any such….you have to seek remedies under the law and not under Article 32 petition. You withdraw this petition”.
Chanderpal said that he cannot just withdraw the petition, her (Ranaut) statements are such that it is casting aspersions on the Sikh community.
The bench said, “Mr. Charanjeet, we have also treaded with great caution. We have not said anything about those tweets or those statements. Because that’s the matter of investigation which is going on.”
The top court lastly ordered that as regard prayer B which was for directions for clubbing of all FIRs which may have been lodged against in respect of the statements be transferred to Khar police station of Mumbai is not pressed.
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