Meghalaya HC Refuses To Quash Case Against Journo For FB Post 

Mukhim, in her post on Facebook, had written about a skirmish between tribal and non-tribal youths at Lawsohtun.

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India
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Patricia Mukhim is the editor of <i>The Shillong Times</i>.&nbsp;
i

The Meghalaya High Court, on Tuesday 12 November, refused to quash a criminal case lodged against journalist Patricia Mukhim, for her Facebook post about continued attacks on non-tribals in the state, according to a LiveLaw report.

Mukhim, in her post on Facebook, had written about a skirmish between tribal and non-tribal youths at Lawsohtun. She has stated that this continued attack on non-tribals in Meghalaya, whose perpetrators have never been arrested since 1979, has resulted in Meghalaya being a failed state.

Following a complaint, police registered a case against Mukhim. Police also issued a notice under Section 41 A Cr.P.C requiring her to appear before the Investigating Officer.

Mukhim approached the High Court where “it was contended that she had only expressed concern on the handling of the case in question by the police and the Dorbar Shnong and has only expressed the hope that this will not be another case lost in the police files but must be dealt with as per the law of the land,” the LiveLaw report stated.

Taking note of the Facebook Post, Justice W. Diengdoh observed that the post sought to create a divide to the ‘cordial relationship’ between the tribals and non-tribals living in Meghalaya.

While dismissing the petition, the court said, “Again, on going through the said Facebook post and as observed above, what can be deduced is that there is an attempt to make a comparison between tribals and non-tribals vis-à-vis their rights and security and the alleged tipping of the balance in favour of one community over the other.”

“This, in the opinion of this Court would fall on the mischief of Section 153 A (a) IPC as it apparently seeks to promote disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between two communities, “ the court further said.

in 2019, the High Court had convicted Mukhim for contempt for her article in Shillong Times under the caption "When Judges judge for themselves", in which she had criticised the series of orders passed by Justice Sen in suo moto proceedings for enhancing the retiral benefits of judges. This order was later stayed by the Supreme Court.

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