Sajja Ajay v. State of Andhra Pradesh

The Cyber Blog IndiaCase Summary

Sajja Ajay v. State of Andhra Pradesh

Sajja Ajay v. State of Andhra Pradesh
In the High Court of Andhra Pradesh
Crl.P. 5688/2020
Before Justice Lalitha Kanneganti
Decided on December 17, 2020  

Relevancy of the case: Bail application for printing and streaming bad deeds of COVID-19 volunteers

Statutes and Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 67)
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Sections 503, 505 (1)(b))
  • The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Section 438)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The de-facto complaint worked as a volunteer in Nandigama Town to serve the public and indigent people. All the volunteers had also worked relentlessly during the COVID-19 period.
  • It was alleged that the petitioner/accused had highlighted some mistakes committed by some of the volunteers.
  • The said mistakes were printed into posters like banners which read, a minor child had been raped by one of the volunteers and an attempt to murder had been committed by another.
  • It was also alleged that the petitioner/accused had captured a video of the said acts and had telecasted them on YouTube and other social media platforms which propagated lies among the entire volunteer system and caused psychosis among the public. 

Prominent Arguments by the Advocates 

  • The petitioner’s counsel argued that the de facto complainant himself admitted that some of the volunteers had made mistakes. The learned counsel argued that the acts of the petitioner were not against public tranquillity and that the petitioner as a citizen of India, had the right to bring to public knowledge under his right to freedom and speech and expression under the Constitution of India. 
  • The respondent’s counsel argued that the right to freedom of speech and expression had certain restrictions and the petitioner could not post statements, videos and messages which would lead to losing the public confidence in the volunteer system. 

Opinion of the Bench

  • The Court observed that the videos and pictures were not created by the petitioner. It was the truth and the complainant mentioned about volunteers making those mistakes. The ingredients of the offences alleged are not prima facie attracted. 

Final Decision

  • Petition allowed.
  • Bail granted with certain conditions.

This case summary has been prepared by Anushka Ojha, an undergraduate student at Bharati Vidyapeeth New Law College, Pune, during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in May/June 2021.