Mumbai: Actress Kangana Ranaut was left red-faced on Friday after the Bombay high court disapproved of her comments on the functioning of the Maharashtra government, Mumbai Police and Bollywood.
Taking note of Kangana's tweets, a bench of Justices Shahrukh Kathawalla and Riyaz Chagla said the actress must exercise 'self restraint' and avoid making 'loose and irresponsible' statements.
In its 166-page judgment, the bench dedicated a page captioned, 'Most required clarification', wherein it disapproved of Kangana's comments on the state authorities.
Notably, Kangana had criticised the functioning of the state government, especially after the Palghar Sadhu lynching incident in April, and the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June.
In one of her tweets, Kangana had compared Mumbai to 'Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir' (PoK) and had criticised the city police.
Taking into account her tweets, the judges said, "We make it clear that this court does not countenance unauthorised construction and also does not approve of loose and irresponsible statements against any individual, authority or government."
"We do not accept as true any of the statements/allegations made by Kangana through her tweets with regard to the alleged prevailing atmosphere in the state or the state police or against the film industry," the judges added.
The bench further said that Kangana must be careful in future while making any comments in public. "If anything, we are of the view that Kangana would be better advised to exercise self restraint when as a public-spirited person, she airs her views regarding issues of public importance on social media platforms," Justice Kathawalla said.
Having read out the 'most required clarification' in open court, Justice Kathawalla asked Kangana's counsel to ensure she would seriously consider the same. "Please convey to your client (Kangana) to seriously consider our suggestion while making any statement in the future," the court said.
"Irresponsible statements made by a citizen in an individual capacity, however distasteful or wrong they may be, are best ignored. Illegal and colourable action on part of the state or its agencies vis-à-vis a citizen, is far too serious and damaging to society to be overlooked," the order penned by Justice Kathawalla added.
The bench further said whatever be the folly of an individual, whether in the matter of unauthorised construction, or irresponsible statements hurting the sentiments of individuals or the public in general, "no action against such individual by anyone, much less by the state, can lie except within the four corners of law," the order stated.
"By no means, colourable exercise of power or resort to threats, use of muscle power and/or causing of injury by unlawful means to such person or to his/her property, can be permitted in any civil society. Such actions are the very antithesis of the rule of law," the bench opined.