Charges dropped against girls held for FB post on Thackeray

Updated - November 17, 2021 10:45 am IST

Published - December 19, 2012 02:35 am IST - Mumbai

A file photo of Shaheen and Ritu outside Palghar court.  Photo: Special Arrangement

A file photo of Shaheen and Ritu outside Palghar court. Photo: Special Arrangement

Stating that the complaint against Palghar girls Shaheen Dhada (21) and Rinu Srinivasan (21), who had posted and liked a message on Facebook on the shutting down of Mumbai after the demise of Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray, is false, the police filed a closure report in the Palghar court on Tuesday.

The report was filed as per the provisions of Section 169 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“We filed a final report — C-summary — in the Palghar court. It was admitted by the judge,” Vijaykant Sagar, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Boisar, told The Hindu .

The arrest of the girls under Section 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66A of the Information Technology Act sparked an outrage across the country.

Initially, on the complaint of Shiv Sena’s Palghar unit chief Bhushan Sankhe, they were booked under Section 295A for outraging religious beliefs. The charge was withdrawn the next day after a public outrage.

Chairperson of the Press Council of India Markandey Katju wrote to the Chief Minister, demanding action against the errant police officials.

A few heads rolled after that and the Director General of Police announced that they would file a closure report, as no case was made out against the girls. “No charge sheet will be filed against them in the case,” Sanjeev Dayal had said.

The girls’ lawyer refused to call it a relief though. He said that if the government was honest about the investigation, it should have filed a B-summary report.

“We are yet to go through it. We will have to read the police opinion in the report to understand what they have said,” Sudhir Gupta told The Hindu .

He said a C-summary report meant the complaint was false but it was not made maliciously. “If it is a B-summary report, the police have to become the complainant and register a case against the original complainant, stating that he had complained to the police with malicious intent. A public servant can complain that an individual has purposely given false information, and can register a complaint against him. If the government has admitted that the arrests of Shaheen and Rinu were wrong, they should have shown the honesty of filing a B-Summary complaint under Sections 182 and 211 of the IPC.” A C-summary report only showed that the government did not want to prosecute Bhushan Sankhe.

Court scrutiny

“The report has been submitted only now. The court will scrutinise it and see if any offence is made out in the matter. It will also send a notice to the complainant, asking him if he agrees with the report. The complainant has the option of seeking the court’s directive to issue summons to the girls on the basis of a protest petition filed by him. Mere filing of a closure report does not mean that the case is shut. The court should admit it,” he said adding that the procedure may take quite some time.

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