An FIR has been registered against actor Kangana Ranaut over her tweets against farmers, following the orders of a court in Tumakuru district of Karnataka directing the same. The FIR was registered under Sections 44 (injury), 108 (abettor), 153 (giving provocation with intent to cause riots), 153(A) (vilification or attacks upon the religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc of any particular group), and 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC).
On 9 October, a Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) in Tumakuru district had directed the police to register an FIR against Kangana. This was after the court was approached by an advocate named Ramesh Naik L, who alleged that the authorities had failed to take action against the actor over her tweet against farmers.
Ramesh had taken objection to Kangana's tweet from 21 September on farmers opposing the farm Bills (now Acts) from the Twitter account, '@KanganaTeam'.
"People who spread misinformation and rumours about CAA that caused riots are the same people who are now spreading misinformation about Farmers bill and causing terror in the nation, they are terrorists. You very well know what I said but simply like to spread misinformation,” the tweet said.
Ramesh had contended that the tweet amounted to provocation with the intention to spark riots, and had moved the petition under Section 156(3) of the CrPC or Code of Criminal Procedure, which says that any magistrate empowered under Section 190 may order an investigation by a police officer.
He had demanded that the magistrate order than an FIR be registered under sections 153A (creating disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different groups by words), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 108 (a person abets an offence) of the Indian Penal Code against the actor.
It may be recalled that many farmers and farmers’ groups across the country, including in Karnataka, had staunchly opposed the three Bills — Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020; the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020.
Notably, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the BJP's oldest ally, had quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over these controversial legislations with party MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal first quitting as a minister from the Union Cabinet.
The government went ahead with these legislations despite opposition and got it passed in the Rajya Sabha controversially through a voice vote when it was seemingly short of numbers.
(This story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)