08, Aug 2019
In the FIRs, Teesta was charged with offences under the IT Act and IPC sections 153(a) for promoting enmity between two religious groups and section 295(a) for outraging religious feelings
Teesta Setalvad File photo of social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand
In a major relief to social activist Teesta Setalvad, the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday quashed two FIRs registered against her in August 2014 for uploading objectionable images of Hindu deities on Twitter. The relief came from the single-judge bench of Justice AS Supehia.
While the first FIR was registered in Ahmedabad’s Ghatlodia police station by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activist Raju Patel, the second FIR was registered by another VHP leader Kirit Mistry at C Division police station in Bhavnagar. In the FIRs, she was charged with offences under the Information Technology Act and Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 153(a) for promoting enmity between two religious groups and section 295(a) for outraging religious feelings.
Counsel for the activist advocate MM Tirmizi had argued before the court that the objectionable images uploaded by Setalvad were temporary in nature and were deleted within 15 minutes. It was also argued by Setalvad’s lawyer that there was no intention of hurting any religious sentiments and therefore, no offence was made. On the contrary, the state government had vehemently opposed Setalvad’s plea.
|Teesta’s “Chilling Reality”|
|In the FIRs, Teesta was charged with offences under the IT Act and IPC sections 153(a) for promoting enmity between two religious groups and section 295(a) for outraging religious feelings|
|She had uploaded a photoshopped image of ISIS terrorists with US journalist James Foley in the backdrop of an image of Hindi deities captioning it with “Chilling Reality”|
Setalvad on August 22, 2014, had posted a photoshopped image on her Twitter account. The image juxtaposed a picture of the deceased American journalist James Foley just before he was beheaded by an ISIS member, against a religious image. She captioned the image as “Chilling Reality” to draw a parallel between different kinds of religious extremism.
However, when Twitter users started criticising her for her insensitivity and for hurting religious sentiments, she was forced to delete the post and tender an apology for the same immediately.
The original article can be read here.