ADVERTISEMENT

FIR Against The Wire's Editor, Reporter for Farmer Death Story Quashed

The court said the report did not contain any opinion on the events which may provoke or incite people.

Published
India
2 min read
FIR Against The Wire's Editor, Reporter for Farmer Death Story Quashed
i

The Quint DAILY

For impactful stories you just can’t miss

By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy

The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday, 25 May, quashed Uttar Pradesh Police’s First Information Report (FIR) against The Wire’s Founding Editor Siddharth Varadarajan and reporter Ismat Ara over a report on a protester who died during the Republic Day mayhem last year in New Delhi.

According to copy of the FIR, Varadarjan and Ara had been charged under Sections 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) and 505(2) (statements conducing to public mischief) of the IPC has been filed in UP’s Rampur district.

The FIR was based on the complaint by one Sanju Turaha, a resident of Rampur district.

Rampur police had lodged the FIR alleging that the report misled the public and sought to “provocate the masses, spread riot, tarnish the image of medical officers by proving wrong the panel of medical officers.”
ADVERTISEMENT

'No Written or Spoken Words to Provoke or Incite People'

A division bench comprising Justices Ashwani Kumar Mishra and Rajnish Kumar held that the petitioner’s report was giving the version of the family of the victim who had died of bullet injuries, reported LiveLaw.

The bench added that the report was factual and did not contain any opinion on the events that happened during the farmers’ protests “which may have the effect of provocating or inciting the people.”

The court stated that written or spoken words can constitute an offence under Section 152B only if they have tendency to create public disorder or affect public tranquility.

It added,

“Nothing was also brought before this court to indicate that there was any disturbance or riot which may have any bearing on public disorder on account of the publication of news/tweet of the petitioners.”

Background

Uttar Pradesh Police had filed an FIR against Varadarajan, on 31 January, for tweeting an article published by the news website on a farmer who died during farmers' protest on Republic Day 2021.

Varadarajan had shared the article with a direct quote by Hardeep Singh Dibdiba – the deceased youth’s grandfather.

UP Police said they have also added the website The Wire.in and reporter Ismat Ara’s name in the same FIR as the story had her byline.

Soon after the FIR was filed against him, Varadarajan wrote on Twitter, “In UP, it is a crime for media to report statements of relatives of a dead person if they question a postmortem or police version of cause of death.”

(With inputs from LiveLaw.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from news and india

ADVERTISEMENT
Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
25
100
200

or more

PREMIUM

3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More
ADVERTISEMENT
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
ADVERTISEMENT
More News
×
×