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SC issues notice on plea filed by Patricia Mukhim against Meghalaya High Court’s order

Anushka Mansharamani

On 13th January, the Supreme Court issued a notification on the petition filed by Patricia Mukhim, the editor of Shillong Times against an order passed by the Meghalaya High Court in November.

The judgement passed refused to quash the criminal proceedings initiated against her.

The bench comprising Justice L Nageswara Rao, Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Vineet Saran sought a response from the State in Mukhim’s plea.

After the police registered a criminal case against her she approached the Meghalaya High Court for relief which was denied.

The petition before the court states, “speaking the truth and seeking enforcement of rule of law against perpetrators of hate crime, in exercise of her fundamental right as guaranteed under Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution of India.”

The criminal proceedings initiated against her were in context to a Facebook post posted by Patricia Mukhim about the continuous attacks on the non-tribals in the State.

For this post, a case was filed against her under Section 153-A, Section 500 and Section 505 of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly inciting communal tensions and for causing defamation.

According to the report published by the Print, the High Court observed that Patricia Mukhim’s publication, “sought to create a divide to the cordial relationship between the tribal and non-tribal living in the State of Meghalaya even alluding to the role of the state machinery as being bias in this regard”.

Patricia Mukhim’s post was related to the incident that took place on 3rd July where unidentified youths armed with iron roads and sticks assaulted a group of non-tribal youths.

These non-tribal youths were playing basketball when this incident took place.

A complaint had been filed by Dorbar Shnong, a governing body of Lawsohtun against Patricia Mukhim.