On Tuesday, the Supreme Court reserved its verdict on a plea filed by senior journalist Vinod Dua who sought quashing of a sedition case registered against him in Shimla, at the instance of a local BJP leader.
The bench comprising of Justices UU Lalit and Vineet Saran asked the parties to file their written submissions within three days, after hearing arguments from senior advocate Vikash Singh representing Dua, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju representing the Himachal Pradesh government, and senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani representing the complainant in the case.
Further, while contending that none of the ingredients of the offenses alleged against Dua in the FIR were made out, advocate Singh urged the court to quash the FIR.
On 6th May, BJP leader Shyam lodged an FIR against Dua at Kumarsain police station in Shimla district, under provisions of the Indian Penal Code for offenses of sedition, public nuisance, printing defamatory materials, and public mischief. Reportedly, Shyam has alleged that Dua, in his YouTube show, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using “deaths and terror attacks” to get votes.
In an unprecedented hearing on June 14, the top court granted protection from arrest to Dua, till further orders. However, it had refused to stay the ongoing probe against him. Further, the court had directed Dua to join the investigation “through video-conferencing or online mode” as offered by him in his response to the summons issued by the police seeking his personal appearance.
Subsequently, on 7th and 20th July, the apex court has extended the protection granted to Dua from any coercive action in the case, till further orders. The Court also sought a report in a sealed cover on the probe conducted so far by the state police.