Citizen sending protest messages to mobile phone of official cannot be booked : Bombay High Court

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The Bombay High Court passed a order on 5 April, 2023.This was seen in the case of Avijit Michael v. State of Maharashtra 4181 OF 2018 and the case was presided over by Hon’ble Justice SUNIL B. SHUKRE & M.M. SATHAYE. 


In this case the Ashwini Bhide, a Member of the Indian Administrative Service, who was at the relevant time working as Managing Director of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation, which corporation was then engaged in construction of a car-shed in the land belonging to Aarey Dairy and this work envisaged cutting of several trees. The allegation is that certain messages were received on the official cell phone of Smt. Ashwini Bhide, due to which she felt offended and obstructed in discharge of her official functions and when she blocked the number from which she had received those messages, Smt. Ashwini Bhide received some messages from a different mobile number.



The Court said that they do not show that the petitioner intended to obstruct Bhide or that he had any knowledge that by sending those messages, he would create the effect of obstructing Bhide from discharging her public functions. “These messages show at their face-value that the sender of the messages was the person who had intention to make efforts for preservation of the trees in the larger interest of society,” the Court opined. It, therefore, quashed the FIR in question and cautioned the police to be careful while registering crimes in such matters in the future.


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