MP High Court Refuses To Dismiss FIR Against Bhojpuri 'Ka Ba' Singer Neha Rathore Over Posting Sidhi PeeGate Cartoon That Featured The Accused In RSS Uniform

MP High Court Refuses To Dismiss FIR Against Bhojpuri 'Ka Ba' Singer Neha Rathore Over Posting Sidhi PeeGate Cartoon That Featured The Accused In RSS Uniform

The tweet depicted a person wearing an RSS dress peeing on another person sitting in front of him.

FP News ServiceUpdated: Saturday, June 08, 2024, 04:30 PM IST
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Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh): The Madhya Pradesh High Court has refused to dismiss the FIR against Bhojpuri singer Neha Singh Rathore for her tweet regarding the Sidhi PeeGate. The police at Habibganj Police Station in Bhopal had filed a case against Neha, who rose to fame for her 'MP mein Ka Ba?' song on social media, drawing attention to locals issues of the state.

Justice Gurpal Singh Ahluwalia of the High Court questioned, "Why did Neha Singh Rathore mention a 'specific ideology' dress (RSS's khaki pants) in the cartoon posted on social media? The accused did not wear that dress during the peeing incident. The cartoon uploaded on her Twitter and Instagram accounts did not match the incident."

The court stated, "In addition, the applicant added some extra things in her post. Therefore, it cannot be said that the applicant uploaded the cartoon using her fundamental rights of free speech and expression."

The court said that the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression is not absolute, and appropriate restrictions apply to it. Although an artist should have the freedom to criticise through satire, adding a dress representing a specific ideology in a cartoon cannot be considered satire. Therefore, it will not fall under Article 19(1) (a) of the Indian Constitution. Even satirical expression can be restricted under Article 19(2) of the Indian Constitution.

The Controversy

Neha Singh had tweeted about the Sidhi urination incident last year, when a BJP leader allegedly urinated on a tribal man's face in the Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh. The incident, caught on camera, was widely shared on social media, drawing flak from politicians across party lines.

Sharing the same sentiment, Neha Singh Rathore posted a cartoon depicting a person wearing an RSS uniform peeing on another person sitting in front of him. This led to a controversy, and a case was filed against her under Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, and residence) of the IPC.

Regarding this case, Neha Singh Rathore's lawyer in the High Court demanded the cancellation of the FIR and argued that no offence is constituted under Section 153A of the IPC. However, the state opposed the petition and argued that tension has escalated due to the incident and that the National Security Act should be imposed against Pravesh Shukla. It should be noted that the accused, Pravesh Shukla, was allegedly a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

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