Siddhesh Bala Mhaskar v. Commissioner of Police
In the High Court of Bombay
Before Justice S S Shinde and Justice V G Bisht
Decided on March 04, 2020
Relevancy of the case: Petition against the detention order in a case involving publication of objectionable material on social media, along with other offences under MPDA and IPC
Statutes and Provisions Involved
- The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 66)
- The Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug-Offenders, Dangerous Persons and Video Pirates Act (MPDA), 1981 (Section 37(1), 135)
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 325, 324, 323, 143, 144, 146, 147, 148, 149, 504, 427)
- The Constitution of India, 1950 (Article 22(5))
Relevant Facts of the Case
- The petitioner allegedly uploaded objectionable material on social media, among other crimes.
- A preventive detention order was passed against the petitioner, and he has appealed against it.
Prominent Arguments by the Advocates
- The petitioner’s counsel argued that allegations under the Information Technology Act, 2000 cannot be grounds for detention under the MPDA. The counsel further submitted that there was undue delay in the execution of the detention order. Some aspects of the order haven’t been translated to Marathi for the petitioner, who cannot understand English.
- The respondent’s counsel argued that the petitioner has been absconding. Further, there are several charges apart from the Information Technology Act, 2000 on the petitioner.
Opinion of the Bench
- The delay of work by the authority cannot prove the police’s efforts to trace the petitioner, who had been absconding. Also, he regularly used English on social networking sites and thus understood English, so there is no question of infringement of Article 22(5).
- Petition rejected.
This case summary has been prepared by Nandini Gadgil, an undergraduate student at DES Shri Navalmal Firodia Law College, Pune, during her internship with The Cyber Blog India in January/February 2021.