MUMBAI police has opposed anticipatory bail plea of three men accused of uploading an ‘objectionable’ video on mobile app, Tik Tok, following a lynching incident in Jharkhand last month, claiming that their act was ‘negligent’ and could lead to a law and order situation.
In its reply, filed on Monday, the Cyber police station submitted that their probe, so far, had shown that one of the accused had uploaded the video on his Tik Tok account, while the two others had shared it on their individual accounts.
Hasnain Khan (21), Mudassir Shaikh (23) and Shadan Farooqui (23) have been booked under sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 34 (common intent) of the Indian Penal Code.
“These days the Internet is accessible to all. This video can go into anyone’s hand and can be dangerous. The accused did not think of this and were negligent in uploading and sharing the video,” Vijay Malankar, assistant public prosecutor, said.
In a three-page reply, police said that it had sought information from Tik Tok about the three accounts, named in the FIR initially, and then tracked the three men. It said that the custodial interrogation of the men was necessary to seize their mobile phones and computers used in making the video and uploading it. It also said that the police need to probe the involvement of any other accused, including any ‘national or international company’, in the matter.
Advocate Ali Kaashif Khan, representing the three accused, submitted that the police had filed a “baseless” complaint after it was tagged on Twitter by a man, whose account states that he has allegiance to a political party. Khan claimed that the audio, in the alleged video, was not the original one recorded by the accused, but was found on Tik Tok app.
“The police have not probed who had uploaded the original audio on Tik Tok. The voice belongs to someone else, but the police have not submitted anything on that. The onus is on Tik Tok. It (video) was shared by millions, but nobody except the applicants have been booked because they are famous. The three come from poor background and have made it big by entertaining their followers on Tik Tok, including videos promoting peace and brotherhood,” Khan said.
He also said that for the police to file a complaint against the accused for allegedly promoting enmity, mens rea (intention) on part of the accused, should have been shown. The court will decide on the plea Tuesday. Meanwhile, it has not granted interim protection to the three men.