Plea In Supreme Court Asks To Cancel FIRs Over Posters Against PM

The plea cites freedom of speech and expression, and asks the top court that Delhi Police be directed not to register the FIRs.

A petition has been filed in the Apex Court asking for cancellation of the FIRs registered against those who put up posters critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of the Covid pandemic.

The petition, filed by a Pradeep Kumar, cites freedom of speech and expression, and asks the top court that Delhi Police be directed not to register the FIRs (first information report) or act against the posters that have questioned the government’s vaccination policy.

This comes after at least 25 First Information Reports (FIR) had been registered, with police informing that at least 25 persons had been arrested in connection with the cases.

Earlier this week, posters had come up in the national capital targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his ‘vaccine diplomacy’. The posters pasted on walls and boards asked: “Modi ji humare bachon ka vaccine videsh kyon bhej diya?” (Why did you send our children’s vaccines abroad?). After the posters were noticed, all the districts where the posters were found registered FIRs under relevant sections of the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, Delhi Disaster Management Act and the Indian Penal Code.

As per The Hindu’s report, the information sought from each district stated that four FIRs had been registered in the North West district; three each in North East, East, West and Outer districts; two each in South, Rohini and Central districts; and one each in North, South West, Dwarka, Shahdara, East and South East districts, respectively.

Four persons each had been arrested from Central and East districts, two persons each were arrested from North East, West, North West and South West districts, and one person each was arrested from the North and Dwarka districts, respectively, senior officers said. No persons were arrested from South, Rohini, Outer, Shahdara and South East districts.

Most of those held were released on bail, sources said, adding that they were interrogated on whether they were hired to paste the posters or if it was a voluntary decision. They said technical investigation is also underway, and that posters and banners had been recovered from the possession of some of the accused.

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