Manik Taneja Vs State of Karnataka, MANU/SC/0056/2015
Coram: V. Gopala Gowda and R. Banumathi, JJ., Supreme Court of India
Decided On: 20.01.2015
Appellant No. 1 his wife S met with an accident with auto rickshaw driven by S. One of the passengers in auto sustained injuries & admitted for treatment in hospital. Matter amicably settled between injured and appellants and no FIR lodged. Appellant No. 2 paid all hospital expenses of injured. Constable present at the time of incident directed appellants to meet Police inspector. Appellants allege as soon as they entered office of Police Inspector, he behaved in a rude manner & summoned Appellant No. 2 to produce her driving license & other documents. At that time no FIR was lodged. On being asked by appellant No.2, he is alleged to have threatened Appellant No. 2 by saying her to drag to court if she continued to argue & thrown out of his office. His deputy told appellants that they are booked on charge of rash & negligent driving. Being aggrieved with manner they were treated, appellants posted comments on Bangalore Traffic Police Facebook Page, accused Police Inspector of misbehavior & forwarded e- mail complaint about harassment meted out to them at the hands of Respondent. Respondent No. 2 filed complaint regarding posting of comment on Facebook by Appellants & FIR lodged against Appellants for offences punishable u/Secs. 353 & 506 IPC. Appellants filed criminal petition u/sec 482 CrPC before HC to quash FIR & Criminal proceedings against them on ground that complaint is an after-thought.
Whether posting comment on Facebook attracts ingredients of Criminal Intimidation?
Appellants might have posted the comment online under the bona fide belief that it was within the permissible limits. As per Court none of the ingredients of the alleged offences were satisfied. No intention on the part of the Appellants to cause alarm in the minds of the second Respondent causing obstruction in discharge of his duty. As far as the comments posted on the Facebook are concerned, it appears that it was a public forum meant for helping the public and the act of Appellants posting a comment on the Facebook may not attract ingredients of Criminal Intimidation in Section 503 Indian Penal Code.