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“Tweets Prime Facie Show Disregard Against Muslim Women”: Andheri Court Orders Police Inquiry Against Actor Payal Rohatgi Over Her Tweets on Safoora Zargar

Payal Rohatgi Safoora Zargar Muslim Women
A 202 inquiry by the police was ordered by  a Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Andheri, Mumbai, against Payal Rohatgi for her tweets from June 2020, regarding the matter of Jamia Student Safoora Zargar's arrest

It was perceived by the Court that the tweets prima facie  show disregard against Muslim women and the community as a whole. Remarkably Metropolitan Magistrate Bhagawat Zirape pointed that every person has the right to profess their religion and how no person has the right to make fun of any custom or rights of other community. 

Actor Payal Rohatgi tweeted in response to a post by a journalist who wished to bring awareness regarding Zargar's condition in prison, who was pregnant at the time. Zargar was an MPhil student from Jamia Milia Islamia University and was arrested for having connection with the Delhi Riots Case. 

In the tweets, Rohatgi mentioned Quran and Female Genital Mutilation.Later Zargar was granted bail on humanitarian grounds. 

Advocate Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh, in the first place approached the Amboli Police for registration of an FIR regarding Rohatgi's tweets but after being refused by the police Deshmukh approached Andheri Court, in December. 

Deshmukh claimed that Rohatgi's tweets spread hatred towards the Muslim community and also accused her of defaming Muslim women. 

He further pleaded for Rohatgi to be booked under sections 153(A) (Promoting enmity between different groups), 153(B) (Assertions prejudicial to national integration), 295(A) (Deliberate acts to hurt religious feelings), 298 and 505 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and sections 67 and 67A (punishment for publishing obscene material) of the Information Technology Act, 2000

On Tuesday, 30th March, 2021, an order was passed by the  court under section 202 of the Crpc, the police may be ordered by the court to conduct investigation of the matter before proceeding against an accused. The police has also been ordered to submit a report by Friday, 30th April 2021. 

The magistrate also noted that the investigation was necessary because a mandatory 65B certificate under the IT Act was missing from the complaint. 


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