SC: ‘People cannot be hauled from one corner of the Country to another for online criticism of Government’

By Diksha-

The Supreme Court today slammed the West Bengal Police for summoning a Delhi resident for Facebook comments criticizing Mamata Government on its handling of the public in the Covid-19 pandemic time.

A 29-year old woman, Roshni Biswas was sent summons by the Police and the Calcutta Court to appear before them for questioning which was challenged by her in the Supreme Court.

The Apex Court suggested that they could interrogate her through video conferrencing or email her the questions.

Criticizing the actions of West Bengal police the Court said,

“Summoning her from Delhi to Kolkata is sheer harassment. Tomorrow, police from Kolkata, Mumbai, Manipur and Chennai will summon people from all parts of India to send a chilling message — you want freedom of speech, we will teach you a lesson.”

Justice Chandrachud observed, “It is like saying how dare a citizen write something against the government, we will haul her up by summoning her from any part of the country. The part of the post attributed to her said thousands of people came out in Raja Bazar area in violation of lockdown norms”.

The opposing Counsel argued that they only wanted to question her, not arrest her; to which the Court replied that a person can’t be prosecuted for commenting that a particular government did not handle the pandemic properly.

The Supreme Court has on previous instances also slammed the Mamata Government for such arbitrary acts.