Karnataka

Policemen penalised for registering FIR under non-existent law

The High Court of Karnataka has imposed costs of ₹10,000 each on a police inspector and an assistant sub-inspector for registering a First Information Report (FIR) against a woman under a non-existent provision. She was charged under the Information Technology Act for posting on her Facebook page a letter containing a forged signature of the then Home Minister M.B. Patil.

Justice P.S. Dinesh Kumar passed the order while quashing the criminal proceedings initiated against the petitioner, Sharada D.R. alias Sharada Diamond, a resident of K.R. Puram.

Police inspector Ravi Patil and assistant SI M. Somanna will have to pay the costs to the court’s registry. Both officers had tendered an unconditional apology to the court for registering the FIR under Section 66A, which was struck down by the apex court in 2015.

The Srirampura police in the city had, on April 25, 2019, registered the FIR based on a complaint by J. Saravana, who alleged that the petitioner had posted the fake letter on Facebook on April 16 and written some comments against Mr. Patil to tarnish his image.

Though the police only entered the complaint on April 17 in the non-cognizable register, a week later an FIR was booked quoting the non-existent provision of the law. According to the petitioner, the police acted under “political pressure”.

The court termed the conduct of the two officers “nothing but a clear abuse of the process of law and harassment of [a] citizen”.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 8:46:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/policemen-penalised-for-registering-fir-under-non-existent-law/article30588279.ece

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