The Supreme Court on September 2, 2019, stayed the Punjab and Haryana High Court order imposing a fine of Rs 10 lakh each on political activists Tehseen Poonawalla and music composer and singer Vishal Dadlani for mocking Jain monk Tarun Sagar.
A Bench comprising of Justices Rohinton Nariman and Surya Kant issued notice to the Haryana Government on the plea filed by Tehseen Poonawalla against the judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on April 29, 2019, imposed the fine on Vishal Dadlani and Tehseen Poonawala for ‘insulting’ Jain Saint Tarun Sagar in a series of tweets in 2016, even though the court quashed criminal cases registered against them as no criminal offence was made out in the case. However, the court imposed the fine to give a message so that no one mocked the heads of religious sects.
Dadlani and Poonawalla were booked by the Haryana Police in August 2016 in Ambala Cantonment for hurting the religious sentiments of the Jain community.
Dadlani, in his tweets, had criticized Tarun Sagar’s nude appearance as well as the action of the Haryana Government in calling a religious Guru in the Legislative Assembly. Whereas, Poonawala had put seminude photograph of a lady by way of a Photoshop with the Jain saint and had raised a finger towards his character by comparing him with a slut.
The case against both was registered “for deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage the religious feelings and other offences” under Sections 295-A, 153-A and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, at Ambala Cantonment police station.
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