Only voiced opinion, tweets did not incite violence, Kangana tells HC

Actress Kangana Ranaut on Monday told the Bombay High Court that she 'merely voiced her opinion' and none of her tweets incited any kind of violence. The actress further said that criticising the government would not attract sedition.

Kangana and her sister Rangoli Chandel through their counsel Rizwan Siddiqui told a bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Manish Pitale made submissions challenging the FIR filed against her under charges of sedition by Mumbai Police.

The bench was seized with a plea filed by the duo challenging the FIR lodged pursuant to the orders of a Magistrate court on a private complaint filed by a Bandra resident, who has claimed that the actress by her tweets had made an attempt to create disaffection against the government. The plaint also stated that the actress' tweets targeted the Muslim community and hurt their sentiments.

In his brief submissions, Siddiqui said the Magistrate did not 'apply his mind' while ordering registration of the FIR against Kangana and her sister. "The due procedure of law was not followed by the Magistrate and even the complainant in the case. Two separate complaints have been clubbed together against the provisions of the CrPC," he argued.

The counsel further said that there is no problem in voicing an opinion since the 'outcome' is what matters. "There has been no instance of any violent reaction or any crime taking place due to my tweets. My expression about the government's functioning should not be used to prosecute me," Siddiqui argued on behalf of Kangana.

Further, citing certain rulings of the Supreme Court, Siddiqui said, "It is settled law that mere expressing criticism against the government cannot amount to sedition."

Having heard the submissions for a few minutes, the judges suggested both Siddiqui and the complainant submit the SC rulings, on which they intend to rely to support their contentions and adjourned the hearing till February 26.

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