Madras HC Quashes Proceedings Against 13 Persons Who Had Allegedly Raised Slogans Against NEP 2020
The Madras High Court has quashed proceedings against 13 persons against whom charge sheet was filed for the offences under Sections 143, 188 and 117 of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly raising slogans against National Education Policy 2020.
The Bench of Justice G.K. Ilanthiraiyan observed that the Respondent-Police was not a competent person to register FIR for the offences under Section 188 of IPC. The Court further observed that the complaint did not even state how the protest formed by the petitioners and others was an unlawful protest. The Court held that it did not satisfy the requirements of Section 143 of IPC.
The case of the prosecution was that the petitioners had raised slogans condemning the implementation of National Education Policy 2020 by the Union Government, without getting prior permission from the concerned authority.
On the basis of the said allegation, the Respondent-Police registered the complaint and filed a charge sheet against the petitioners for the offences under Sections 143, 188 and 117 of IPC.
Advocate S.Xavier Felix appeared for the petitioners whereas Government Advocate S. Santosh appeared for the State.
The counsel appearing for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner is a social activist and has been raising voice for the public cause and public welfare, whenever injustice and inaction of the government machineries.
It was submitted that in order to draw the attention of the Central and State Governments, the petitioners raised slogans condemning against the implementation of National Education Policy 2020 by the Union Government.
Per contra, the Government Advocate submitted that the petitioners raised slogans condemning the implementation of National Education Policy 2020 by the Union Government and that there were specific allegations as against the petitioners to proceed with the trial.
Further, he submitted that Section 188 of IPC is a cognizable offence and therefore it is the duty of the police to register a case.
The Court noted that "Except the official witnesses, no one has spoken about the occurrence and no one was examined to substantiate the charges against the petitioner. It is also seen from the charge itself that the charges are very simple in nature and trivial."
The Court held that the FIR or final report was liable to be quashed for the offences under Section 188 of IPC as the police officer was not a competent person to register FIR for the offences under Section 188 of IPC.
Accordingly, the Court quashed the proceedings on the file of Judicial Magistrate No.II, Poonamallee, while allowing the Petition.
Cause Title- Seeman & Ors. v. State by Inspector of Police & Anr.