In an interesting turn of events, a judge of the Karnataka High Court has directed Bengaluru city police to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh for filing an FIR against the administrator of a Facebook page.
S Jaikant runs the Facebook page ‘Troll Maga’ on which he had allegedly posted derogatory statements against JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda, his son, the former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, and the Deve Gowda’s grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy. Following this, two FIRs had reportedly been registered in May and June of this year, citing that the administrator had posted “abusive and insulting statements” against the three.
“Allegations in both complaints/FIRs are more or less identical. Actions of the police lead to an irresistible inference that a deliberate attempt was made by the police to ensure that the petitioner was ‘somehow’ detained. The second FIR was registered only to ensure the petitioner was somehow arrested and detained in custody,” stated Justice PS Dinesh Kumar, according to TOI.
After the FIR had been filed at Sriramapura police station, Jaikant had sought bail from a lower court. He went to the police station to submit his bail, when he was arrested based on the second FIR which had been filed subsequently. He was released and proceedings were stayed by the court.
On Friday, the High Court not only quashed the two FIRs, but also ordered for an investigation and has sought for an enquiry against the Magistrate who had allowed the filing of FIRs. "This is a classic case of blatant violation of fundamental rights by the police," the High Court said.
The judge has also stated that the DG and IGP must investigate the matter, and has asked for a report to be submitted within three months. He further noted that it was a “serious matter and required correction,” as Jaikant should not have been sent to police custody as per apex court protocols.