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Human Rights

Supreme Court of India, Writ Petition No. 154 of 2020, Vinod Dua versus Union of India & Ors.

Date Enacted: June 2021
Country: India
Region: South Asia

The Supreme Court quashed the FIR (first information report) that had been brought against journalist Vinot Dua in June 2020 while rejecting “the prayer that no FIR be registered against a person belonging to media with at least 10 years of standing unless cleared by the Committee as suggested.” The complaint had claimed that “in his show namely The Vinod Dua Show on YouTube,” Dua had “made unfounded and bizarre allegations” including that “the government does not have enough testing facilities and has made false statements about the availability of the Personal Protective Kits (PPE) and has stated that there is no sufficient information on those” and that he “circulated these rumours with the intent to defeat the Lockdown by creating an impression that there is a complete failure of the institution and it will become hard to survive this lockdown, if not acted upon immediately.” The FIR claimed that these acts constituted the punishable offence of sedition as well as “printing or engraving a matter which is defamatory to any person” under the Indian Penal Code. The Court decided that the offence of sedition, “going by the allegations in the FIR and other attending circumstances” was “not made out at all and any prosecution in respect thereof would be violative of the rights of the petitioner guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.”