Sedition provision misused in hoax call case: Faridabad court

Sedition provision misused in hoax call case: Faridabad court

Tribune News Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, January 13

After over a year that a person was booked for sedition on the allegations of making a hoax call to the railway authorities regarding explosive substance on a train, a Faridabad court has ruled that the provision had been misused.

Committed offence under Railway Act

The petitioner had to board Shree Dham Express. As he was away from the railway station, he made a hoax call to ensure that the train did not leave the station. A public prosecutor said the petitioner had committed an offence, punishable under Section 174 and other Sections of the Railway Act.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Narender Sura made it clear that Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) had been wrongly added to the case to aggravate the offence.

Judge Sura also directed the public prosecutor to forward a copy of the order to “the higher police officers to apprise them of the misuse of Section 124A of the IPC”.

The accused, Anshul Agnihotri, had filed the bail petition in an FIR registered for sedition and another offence under Sections 124A and 505 of the IPC on December 29, 2020, at the RPF police station in Faridabad.

His counsel contended that the petitioner had been falsely implicated. The allegations were of making a hoax call to the railway authorities, regarding explosive substance in Shree Dham Express. But Section 124A had been added just to aggravate the offence. Even if the allegations were taken as these were, ingredients of Section 124A were “not available by any stretch of imagination”.

Opposing the bail plea, the public prosecutor submitted that the petitioner had to board Shree Dham Express. As he was away from the railway station, he made the hoax call to ensure that the train did not leave the station. He added the petitioner had committed an offence, punishable under Section 174 and other Sections of the Railway Act and the same would be added as investigation was still pending.

“After going through the record of the case, the public prosecutor failed to convince the court how provisions of Section 124A of the IPC are attracted in the case as there was no intention on the part of the petitioner to bring or to attempt to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempt to excite disaffection towards the government. The court is of the view that it is a misuse of the provision contained in Section 124A of the IPC,” Judge Sura observed. Granting bail with certain conditions, Judge Sura added the petitioner was in custody since January 3. Investigation and trial would take long time.

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