The High Court of Karnataka has quashed a case against an alleged Campus Front of India (CFI) member, who shouted slogans against the Supreme Court judgement in the Babri Masjid case, because the police had failed to seek sanction from the government before charging him under Section 153A of IPC.
However, the court has said that shouting slogans against the judgement amounted to spreading hatred among communities which cannot be taken lightly.
The court noted that the accused Safwan “went along with the others with the banner of CFI and protested against the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court delivered in Ayodhya-Babri Masjid case which is nothing but promoting enmity between two groups on the ground of religion.” This is an act which is prejudicial to maintenance of harmony in Mangaluru area, where the accused persons agitated against the judgment, and it cannot be taken lightly, the court further said.
Safwan was charged under Section 153A read with Section 149 of Indian Penal Code and Section 3 of Karnataka Open Space Disfigurement Act by the Konaje police in Mangaluru.
Section 153A of IPC states “whoever commits an offence specified in sub-section (1) in any place of worship or in any assembly engaged in the performance of religious worship or religious ceremonies, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.” But under Section 196 of the Criminal Procedure Code, sanction of the government is necessary to file a case under Section 153A of IPC.
It was alleged that on November 17, 2019, Safwan and other accused had shouted slogans near the Mangaluru University and “also affixed the posters in public places near the Badria Jumma Masjid, Deralakatte with a caption “all should awake against refusal and for justice and to raise slogan” and also in the university campus at Mangaluru calling the public, especially, the Muslim community to raise slogans against the violation of justice in respect of the judgment delivered in Ayodhya-Babri Masjid case by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.” Justice K Natarajan quashed the case pending against Safwan on October 14.
Last month, the central government banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliate organisations, including the Campus Front of India, for five years over alleged links to terrorism.
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