‘In Indian democracy, political parties are open to criticism’

A Delhi Court on Friday observed, that in Indian democracy, the political parties are open to their criticism, saying the political parties are not shying away from the public to face criticism of its policies.

The court’s observation came while granting bail to Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair in connection with a 2018 contentious tweet case, which allegedly promoted enmity between religious groups, according to the FIR.

As per the FIR, in his tweet, Zubair had written: “BEFORE 2014: Honeymoon Hotel. After 2014: Hanuman Hotel.””The applicant/accused stated to have used the words “BEFORE 2014: and After 2014′ to point out towards a political party. In Indian democracy the political parties are open for their criticism. The political parties are not shying away from public to face the criticism of its policies. The voice of dissent is necessary for healthy democracy. Therefore, merely for the criticism of any political parties it is not justified to invoke section 153 A and 295 A IPC,” Additional Sessions Judge Devender Kumar Jangala of Patiala House Courts stated in the order.

The applicant has posted the image of the scene of a movie “Kisi se na Kehna” released in the year 1983.

This movies was certified by the Central Board of Film Certification, which is a statutory body of the Government of India and is available for public view since then.

No complaint is stated to have been filed till today that the said scene of movie has hurt the feelings of particular community of society, the court noted.

It was also noted that democracy can neither work nor prosper unless people go out to share their views.

“Democracy is a government by the people via open discussion. The Democracy can neither work nor prosper unless people go out to share their views. Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India gives freedom of speech and expression to its citizen. Undoubtedly free speech is the proper foundation of a democratic society. A free exchange of ideas, dissemination of information without restrains, dissemination of knowledge, airing of differing viewpoints, debating and forming one’s own views and expressing them, are the basic indicator of a free society,” the order said.

It further said: “This freedom alone makes it possible for people to formulate their own views and opinions on a proper basis and to exercise their social, economic and political rights in a free society in an informed manner. The liberty of speech and expression guaranteed by article 19 (1) (a) brings within its ambit, the corresponding duty and responsibility and puts limitations on the exercise of that liberty.”

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