Court refuses to quash case against college professor over WhatsApp status on abrogation of Article 370 : Bombay High Court



The Bombay High Court passed a order on 10 April, 2023.This was seen in the case of Javed Ahmed Hajam v. State of Maharashtra & Anr. 94 OF 2023 and the case was presided over by Hon’ble Justice Sunil Shukre and MM Sathaye. 


In this case The petitioner is a Professor in Sanjay Ghodavat Collage. There is a whatsapp group comprising parents-teachers organization and the petitioner is a member of this whatsapp group. The petitioner being a member of this whatsapp group, created whatsapp status giving two messages namely; (1) AUGUST 5 BLACK DAY JAMMU & KASHMIR and (2) 14th August Happy Independence Day Pakistan. It is further alleged that below the first message displayed as status of the petitioner on whatsapp application in petitioner’s handset was written “Article 370 was abrogated, we are not happy”.


The Court did not find anything wrong with the message .“The first message which has been posted on the whatsapp application by the petitioner is, without giving any reason and without making any critical analysis of the step taken by the Central Government towards abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution. In our view, this message has the tendency to play with emotions of different groups of people in India as there are strong feelings of contrasting nature about status of Jammu and Kashmir in India and, therefore, one has to tread cautiously in such a field, lest the emotions may reach up to such a level as to bring about consequences or reasonable possibility of consequences visiting as envisaged in Section 153-A of IPC,” the order stated. “As of now, prima-facie it does seem to be having such impact on the mind of different groups of people, for the reasons stated just now, and hence prima-facie constitutes the offence under Section 153-A of IPC,” the Court held while refusing to quash the FIR.


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