New Delhi: A Delhi court on Thursday dismissed a plea seeking lodging of an FIR against hardline separatist Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and three others for allegedly instilling "hatred" among the people of Kashmir and other parts of India.
Metropolitan Magistrate Vijeta Singh Rawat turned down the plea for a police probe against Geelani, Tehreek-E-Hurriyat general secretary Mohd Ashraf Sahrai and Hurriyat Conference members Masarat Alam Bhat and Ghulam Nabi Sumji saying the alleged offences were committed within the state of J&K itself.
The court said the offence did not fall in its jurisdiction and the probe cannot be carried out under Indian Penal Code (IPC) as it is not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) where the penal provision is under RPC (Ranbir Penal Code).
"...The complainants were especially asked to address the court on the applicability of IPC to the allegation made. In reply thereto, the complainants stated that the videos have been viewed in Delhi. (This contention being more applicable to the alleged offences in the virtual world does not have much implication)...
"However, in considered view of this court, there is no doubt on the aspect of non-application of IPC on omission and commission in the state of J&K which has been accorded special status by virtue of Article 370 of the Constitution and has limited the power of Indian Legislature...," the court said.
The court further said "the arguments led by counsel for the complainants does not hold any ground that the IPC would extend to the facts and circumstances of the present case".
The court order came on the plea filed by two complainants who had claimed Geelani had on several occasions "threatened the safety and security of the government of India and its citizens" by delivering hate speeches.
The two complainants had contended the court has the jurisdiction to order registration of FIR as the alleged statements given by Geelani and three others have been heard in Delhi as well.
On the issue of special status and applicability of RPC in J&K, the petitioners had argued these four persons were Indians and therefore, the penal provisions under IPC and other acts were applicable to them.
"Further, it has been alleged that by depicting only upper part of India`s map on their webiste, Gellani and other have insulted the national honour. However, as per the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1971, disregard to national honour like the national flag, constitution of India and the national anthem have been made punishable," the court said.
"There is no pictorial map of India in the constitution as such to invoke the aforesaid Act in the facts and circumstances of the presenr case," it said.
On the issue of the video, the judge said there may be substance in the allegation made, "yet no satisfactory reasons have been elucidated to order police investigation".
The judge took cognizance under the IT Act and directed the complainant to record pre-summoning evidence on July 7.
Meanwhile it also said that at the relevant stage, if the court feels it can exercise power under section 202 CrPC.
The complaint had sought lodging of FIR for offences under various sections of IPC, including 121 (waging or attempting to wage war against country) and 153A (promoting enmity between classes).