An alleged journalist and a man accused of sexual molestation during the MeToo outburst in India, Vinod Dua was today denied relief by the Supreme Court over a case which has been registered against him by the Himachal Pradesh police for spreading falsities through his YouTube channel, and a particular show, in which he criticized the Modi government’s implementation of a nationwide lockdown in late March to prevent the disease from ravaging the country without sufficient infrastructure being available to handle the outbreak.
In a special hearing for the propagandist, a three-judge bench assembled on a Sunday to hear his case. Justices UU Lalit, MM Shantanagoudar and Vineet Saran issued a notice on an urgent plea by Dua for protection against coercive action in multiple FIRs and ordered that he should not be arrested till July 6. However, the bench refused to stay the FIR against him, despite desperate attempts by his lawyer to ensure the same.
Dua’s counsel, Advocate Vikas Singh argued that the court’s decision to not stay the FIR would send a wrong signal, and freedom of expression, a Fundamental Right, will be affected due to the same, IANS reported. Justice Lalit said that it is for the court to decide whether it sends the right or wrong signal. The Police were directed to provide notice of interrogation to Dua 24 hours prior, while the journalist was told to cooperate with the police in their investigation.
Vinod Dua has been slapped with grave offences under the Indian Penal Code, which include sedition (section 124A), public nuisance (section 268), printing defamatory matter (section 501) and intent to cause public mischief (section 505), based on a complaint filed by BJP leader Ajay Shyam.
In his show relating to CoVID-19 and the nationwide lockdown, Dua had called the police a “jallad”. He had also warned the nation that a Civil Disobedience Movement at this time would be the real social emergency, effectively advocating for the same.
Earlier, the serial propagandist and MeToo accused had lamented over the lack of US-like violent protests in India. Following the custodial killing of George Floyd, as the US was battered with violence and thuggery, Vinod Dua seemed in awe of the arson which was taking place, and suggested that Indians must do the same back in their country. Further, he went on to say that while the hatred in the US is racial, back in India, it is religious. He also said that Indians are not aware of their rights, and that we are a nation of 1.3 billion, a population much larger than that of the US’, a trait he seemed enthusiastic to put to wrong use.
It is meanwhile not known why the Supreme Court opened its doors to the alleged journalist on a Sunday.