The Kerala High Court on Thursday held that pasting of a poster exhorting election boycott, even if it was objectionable, was not sufficient to show that by affixing such a poster there was provocation to commit the offence of rioting under Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code.

Justice S.S. Satheesachadnran made the ruling while allowing a petition filed by P.J. Manuel, convener , Porattom , against the criminal proceedings initiated against him for pasting posters calling upon voters to boycott the 2011 Assembly elections.

The case was registered for pasting a poster near the Public Library and Research Centre in Kozhikode. He had been charged with offences under Sections 124A (sedition) and 153 of the Indian Penal Code.

The court further observed that howsoever deplorable the act of affixing the poster be, to constitute an offence under Section 153 of the IPC, it had to be shown that the act was illegal in addition to showing that it was a provocation for causing rioting.