The judicial division bench of justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik on Tuesday observed that public office has to face criticisms and allow youth to express freely. The order came concerning the aftermath of a plea filed by Sunaina Holey, a Navi Mumbai resident who was booked by Palghar and Mumbai police for allegedly writing offensive remarks about Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son Adhitya Thackeray.
Bombay HC said that the people have to find a balance between the rights of the entire society and individual rights. "How will they know what is right or wrong, if we do not allow the younger generation to express?" the court questioned.
Meanwhile, Sunaina Holey asked for interim protection from the arrest and demanded to cancel all levelled charges against her. A total of three FIRs are filed against her by the Mumbai and Palghar police. Members of Shiv Sena, as well as Yuva Sena, have filed complaints against Sunaina, including Rohan Chavan.
In an order on October 30, the court had directed her to cooperate with the police investigation. While hearing the plea, the court asked the public prosecutor: "Will you act against every person who says something on Twitter and how many actions will you take?"
Responding to this, the additional prosecutor JP Yagnik told, police were trying to investigate the intention behind the post after complaints were registered.
The judicial bench further added that "We the judges have been asked to not watch TV, Twitter and we do not know anything. We come to the Courts with a fresh mind. We have adopted a democratic structure. The younger generation will find something to write on social media and we should allow the freedom to express."
Advocate Abhinav Chandrachud who represents Sunaina Holey said that the state can't curtail the fundamental right to speech and she was expressing her opinion while criticizing the government policy. Hearing this, the court said, "We also have to ensure that the fundamental right of one person does not cause harm to others."
Sunaina Holey was booked under Section 153A ,Sections 505 of Indian Penal Code and provisions of IT Act, that is promoting enmity between different groups and statements conducting public mischief. The continuation of the hearing will be held today in Bombay High Court.