The Bombay High Court on Monday directed a 32-year-old man booked for posting tweets against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son and minister Aaditya Thackeray to appear before the Cyber Cell of the Mumbai Police on October 16 for questioning. The court also directed the Nagpur resident, Sameet Rakesh Thakkar, to handover his mobile phone to the investigators.
A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice M S Karnik was hearing a plea filed by Thakkar through advocate Abhinav Chandrachud, seeking to quash an FIR registered against him over his tweets. Thakkar had sought interim protection from arrest, pending hearing in the case.
Chandrachud said that as per the court’s previous directions, Thakkar had recorded his statement at V P Marg police station where the FIR has been registered against him. However, he had to leave the police station in haste as he apprehended that a police team from the Cyber Cell was coming to arrest him.
However, Public prosecutor Deepak Thakare for Mumbai Police told the court that Thakkar did not cooperate with the police and failed to comply with the previous court order as he ran away from the V P Marg police station without signing the statement. It was done at the behest of a lawyer who was present with Thakkar at the police station, said Thakare.
Thakkar told the court that he should be allowed to have an advocate along with him when he will go to the police station. The police said if Thakkar was willing to attend the V P Road police station and the Cyber Cell at Bandra Kurla Complex, they would consider his application to allow a lawyer to be present with him.
Thakkar added that the IPC Section 505 (punishment for statements conducing to public mischief), under which he was booked was unnecessary as he had not incited any hatred between any community. He said in worst case scenario he could have been booked under Section 504 (punishment for intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the IPC.
On apprehension of arrest, Thakare said that even though Thakkar had approached the High Court for quashing of FIR, he continued to make objectionable posts on social media and had not deposited his mobile phone to the investigating agency.
After hearing submissions, the court directed Thakkar to attend the police station on October 16 and asked him to deposit his cell phone with police and posted further hearing to October 23.
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