A Metropolitan Magistrate Court, at Girgaon, granted relaxation in one of the bail conditions to accused Sameet Thakkar who was arrested and later enlarged on bail on charges of having made allegedly objectionable tweets against Uddhav Thackeray, Chief Minister of Maharashtra and his son Aditya Thackeray.
Thakkar was granted bail on 10th November, and one of the conditions to his bail was restraining him from operating his twitter account. The arrest was made in connection to an FIR filed at VP Road Police Station, in Mumbai.
Thakkar’s lawyer made an application for relaxation of this bail condition and argued that such a condition affects and infringes on Thakkar’s Fundamental Right to Freedom of Speech. His counsel further argued that if this condition is not relaxed, it would cause a lot of hardship to the accused applicant. He also relied upon the decisions of the Supreme Court in this matter, citing Dattaram Singh v/s State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr and Rajib Sharma v/s State of West Bengal & Ors.
The application for relaxation was vehemently opposed by the Additional Public Prosecutor on the grounds that such a relaxation would be detrimental to Prosecution’s case as the Investigation has not been concluded as yet.
The Court however brushed aside this objection and observed that the alleged tweets on which the complaint was based was already in the possession of the Prosecution and hence relaxation of bail condition would cause no prejudice to it. The Court observed “If considered the nature of offence, date of passing the bail order, i.e. 10.11.2020 and the present date, I am of the view that no prejudice will be caused to the prosecution if the prayer made by the accused for relaxing the condition which restrain him from operating his Twitter account till further order is relax because the alleged evidence on the basis of it the crime against the accused was registered is with the prosecution.”
Thus, ACMM Nerlikar accepted the arguments of the applicant and relaxed the bail condition.
The complaint against Thakkar was filed on 1st July 2020, by Nitin Tiwari, a Shiv Sena Member, alleging that Thakkar posted objectionable tweets against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. A second complaint was also filed against the petitioner for the same offence at VP Road Police Station, Mumbai, by Dharmenda Mishra, another Shiv Sena Functionary. A third complaint was filed at BKC’s Cyber Cell, Mumbai. All FIR’s were registered under IPC and IT Act. Thakkar was subsequently granted bail in all the cases.