The Karnataka High Court under Justice V Srishananda in K M Basha & State of Karnataka (Criminal Petition No. 201668/2022) rejected legal actions taken against a man after he posted a comment on his Facebook page that the police alleged insulted soldiers and disturbed public peace and tranquillity taking cognisance of the chargesheet filed against him under Section 505 IPC. The court said before taking of the cognizance by the Magistrate for the offences punishable under Section 505 of IPC, prior sanction under Section 196(1)(A) of Cr.P.C. is necessary.
A complaint came to be lodged by Police SubInspector Law and Order of Manvi police against the accused in crime No.160/2020 for the offences punishable under Section 505(1)(a), 505(1)(b) and 505(2) of IPC. The gist of the report lodged by the Police Sub-Inspector reveals that on 05.10.2020, on Facebook page of K.M.Basha, he had posted a message wherein purportedly a soldier of Pakistan was conversing with a lady with the words “Har dil ki awaaz Pakistan zindabad”. He further shared the said message with his friends on Facebook. On receipt of such information, the Police Sub-Inspector went to the Tahsildar Office at about 12.30 pm. and enquired with the person standing there. He revealed his name as K.M.Basha, a resident of KHB colony, Manvi. On enquiry, he admitted that he shared the said message. He also shown the said message in his mobile and on 06.10.2020 morning, he deleted the same. Based on the same, Police Sub-Inspector complained to the Station House Officer with the report stating that sharing such a message would amount to insulting the soldiers of our country resulting in demoralizing them and also disturbing the peace and tranquillity of the society and therefore, Police Sub-Inspector sought for action. The matter was thereafter investigated and cognizance was taken by the learned Magistrate and case is now pending in C.C.No.1173/2021.
The bench noted that “On perusal of the above provisions, it is crystal clear that before taking cognizance by the learned Magistrate for the offences punishable under Section 505 of IPC, prior sanction under Section 196(1)(A) of Cr.P.C., is necessary. It is also clear from the above provisions that before such a sanction could be granted, preliminary investigation is to be conducted in respect of the offence punishable under Section 505 of IPC by the competent authority by a person as is contemplated under Section 196(3) of Cr.P.C.”
Therefore, the criminal petition is allowed. The charge sheet filed by the Manvi Police in respect of Crime No.160/2020 for the offences punishable under Sections 505(1)(a), 505(1)(b) and 505(2) of IPC and cognizance taken by the learned Magistrate in pursuance of the charge sheet filed in the said Crime No.160/2020 is hereby quashed.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY VAISHNAVI SINGH