Court upholds order in favour of Payal Rohatgi
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A Dindoshi sessions court last Thursday upheld the order of a magistrate court that had dismissed a complaint of an advocate against actor-model Payal Rohatgi for alleged communal social media posts.

Additional Sessions Judge SU Baghele, while dismissing the advocate's revision plea against the magistrate’s order said that the complainant had not specified the facts in the complaint, which would lead to the inference, as arrived at by him.

“The statement in the complaint that the post is frivolous, derogatory and defamatory or it is made with the intent to outrage religious feelings or insult religions... is none other than putting forth an inference arrived at by the applicant… on the basis of certain facts.”

“In view of the matter, the observations of the learned magistrate, that the allegations are vague and general in nature, cannot be faulted with,” the order said.

Last year, lawyer Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh had approached the Metropolitan Magistrate, Railway Mobile Court, Andheri and sought a direction to the Oshiwara police to probe Payal Rohatgi's social media posts. Deshmukh had said in his complaint that the 34-year-old's posts are derogatory and promoted enmity between different religious communities.

Magistrate Imran R. Marchiya had on January 9, this year dismissed the Andheri resident’s complaint while observing that his allegations are “vague and general in nature” and that they do not disclose commission of a cognizable offence. “Only mentioning the wordings of particular offence in the complaint for making allegations is not sufficient,” magistrate Marchiya had said and added that “For the alleged offences there should be some material to show the intention of the accused (Rohatgi) for promoting enmity between the groups on the grounds of religion, etc...Mere expression of one’s view on any issue is not an offence,” his order had said. The court had said it did not find it fit to direct the police to investigate the matter.

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