HC upholds FIR against scribes

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Nov 17: High Court today upheld the FIR registered against the Journalist Shah Fahad by recording that the commission of offences requires investigation by the police.
Justice V C Koul dismissed the plea challenging the FIR and said the allegations contained in the complaint on the basis of which the FIR in question has been registered allege commission of offences punishable under Section 153, 505 IPC, which requires to be investigated by the police.
Court said during the investigation, the defence which may be available to the petitioners-accused can be taken and after the investigation is concluded, the police have to find out whether or not offences for which the FIR has been registered are made out or not.
The petitioners feeling aggrieved of FIR No.06/2021 for offences punishable under Section 153, 505, IPC registered with Police station, Imam Sahib, Shopian, have filed the instant petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C., seeking quashment of the said FIR.
The FIR has been registered with the said Police Station on the basis of written complaint made in Police Station Imam Sahib Shopian. In the complaint it is that the Media outlet Kashmiryat and Kashmir Walla have published an article on their news portal by claiming that the army has forced the school authorities to celebrate Republic Day. The complainant had also alleged that spreading of such kind of fake news is bound to cause serious concern for the security and can create law and order situation.
The FIR no. 06/2021 was registered with the Police Station for offences punishable under Section 153, 505 IPC and during the course of investigation, it was found that said article was published by Mir Junaid of Kashmiryat and Yashraj Sharma (Kashmir Walla).
During the course of investigation as per the status report filed by prosecution, the statement of Chairman of the school, was recorded, wherein he has stated that allegation made against the army were baseless and article published by the aforementioned media out let against the army was found to be fake. The investigation of the case is underway.
The respondent-prosecution submit and alleged that by making such false publication, they had intended to cause provocation to committed riot and thus have commit offences punishable under Section 153 as well as 505 IPC. The investigation in the case is underway and is yet to be concluded.
The main allegation in the report on the basis of which FIR has been registered and which is under investigation, is that a false news was carried by the petitioners with regard to the celebrations of Republic Day in the school and it was alleged in such publication that the school was forced by the Army to celebrate and conduct such function.
“The complaint is that false accusation regarding use of force for celebrating the Republic Day by the school was alleged against the Army authorities. It is on the basis of said allegation that accused is alleged to have committed offences under Section 153, 505 IPC”, Justice Koul said.
The petitioners seek exercise of inherent powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash the impugned FIR and court said the scope of Section 482 Cr.P.C. is well defined and inherent powers could be exercised by the High Court to give effect to an order under the Code, to prevent abuse of the process of court; and to otherwise secure the ends of justice.
“However, in exercise of such powers, it is not permissible for the High Court to appreciate the evidence as it can only evaluate material documents on record to the extent of its prima facie satisfaction about existence of sufficient ground for proceedings against accused and the court cannot look into materials, acceptability of which is essentially a matter for trial”, the court said.