Updated: December 17, 2020 20:30:03
The Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court on Thursday that a petition calling for the permanent suspension of Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut’s Twitter account is not tenable.
The remarks requested by the petitioner Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh were “vague” and the reason should be rejected, said government lawyer YP Yagnik.
Deshmukh, a city-based attorney, said in his criminal petition that Twitter should be directed to suspend or permanently disable Ranaut’s account to stop the “spread of hatred in the country.”
Twitter should also be directed to follow the country’s guidelines and laws to prevent “misuse” of its platform, the petitioner said.
He cited several controversial tweets from Ranaut and his sister Rangoli Chandel that allegedly incited hatred against communities and the state machine.
These tweets included what led to Twitter India’s suspension of Chandel’s account for targeting a community, and also Ranaut’s tweet comparing Mumbai to “Pak-occupied-Kashmir”.
Arguing in front of a division bench of judges SS Shinde and MS Karnik on Thursday, Deshmukh said he had written to Maharashtra police and authorities in the past asking for action against Ranaut and his sister.
“She (Ranaut) has multiple FIRs pending against her. In the past, he abused the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput for his own gains and is now also doing so with peasant protest, “Deshmukh said.
But the judges tried to find out if the reason was a public interest (GDP) dispute.
When Deshmukh said he was not, the bench said, “So how can we act in a criminal case based on claims made by a third party, who is in no way personally interested? Is it a GDP? If not, you’ll have to show yourself personal injury, how it’s affecting you. “
Government lawyer Yagnik said the reason did not indicate how the tweets reported by the petitioner affected the general public.
“This is a very vague petition. Twitter is an international body. Vague remarks like these cannot be sought. This reason is not sustainable and should be eliminated, “Yagnik said.
Deshmukh argued that Ranaut was spreading “constant hatred” in the country.
The HC, however, reiterated that in a criminal case, the court could not act at the request of a third party.
He ordered Deshmukh to “ponder” whether the issue should be raised via a briefing paper or whether the petition for a criminal act should continue, and updated the matter to December 21.
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