Full text: Prashant Bhushan’s criminal complaint against Madhu Kishwar
Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan had on Monday filed a criminal complaint against “fake news purveyor” Madhu Kishwar for “violence inciting tweets”. Here is the full text of Bhushan’s complaint
Tilak Marg Police Station
Kindly register this criminal complaint against Ms Madhu Kishwar. She uses the Twitter handle @madhukishwar. Ms Madhu Kishwar has two million followers on Twitter and her tweets hence have a far reaching impact. For the last several months, Ms Kishwar has been using her Twitter handle to publish misleading and false information. Her tweets are intended to incite communal hatred and create a disturbance to public peace and tranquillity. I would like to bring to your particular attention her tweet on the 14th of April 2018 at 3:34p.m. using her Twitter handle @madhukishwar. A screen shot of her tweet is reproduced below:
The information in the tweet above is clearly false and intended to provoke hate and violence against the Rohingya. In branding an entire community "criminal", she has committed an offence under various provisions of the IPC as her statements are aimed at creating enmity on communal and racial lines. In using the word "jehadi" for the Rohingya community she has spread a falsehood which will cause harm to the reputation of an ethnic refugee community, flare communal tensions and incite hatred towards this helpless minority. In prejudicially calling a whole community "jehadis" without any credible basis to do so and merely on the basis of their Muslim identity, she has also outraged the religious feelings of the Jammu Muslims as well.
Her tweet amounts to hate speech that is punishable under the following provisions of the Indian Penal Code.
Section 153 A: Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony - (1) Whoever -
(a) by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or attempts to promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or arty other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, or
(b) commits any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony l. between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or; castes or communities, and which disturbs or is likely to disturb the public tranquillity, . . .
shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
Section 295(A) Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs
Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of (citizens of India], (by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise', insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to (three years], or with fine, or with both.
Section 505. Statements conducing to public mischief—
(1) Whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report,—
(b) with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquillity; or
(c)(with intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against arty other class or community. shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to (three years/, or with fine, or with both.
(2) Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or between classes.—Whoever makes, publishes or circulates say statement or report containing rumour or alarming news with intent to create or promote, or which is likely to create or promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
The Rohingyas are a refugee community that have fled widespread violence and persecution in their home country Myanmar. Many thousand Rohingyas have settled in Jammu. A case against their proposed deportation is pending in the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India since August 2017 (Writ Petition (C ) 793/2017). At court it has been brought on record that not a single case of terrorism has been filed against the Rohingya community living in Jammu and Kashmir. In the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly Budget session 2017. the government responded to a question on whether Rohingya have been involved in militancy and other crimes, as follows: 'No Rohingya (Burmese) has been found involved in militancy fated incidents. 17 FIRs have been registered against 38 Rohingya for various offences relating to illegal border crossing'. (A copy of Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly budget session 2017, reply by the government enclosed as Annexure 2 to this complaint)
Kindly register a first information report against Ms. Kishwar on the basis f this complaint so that she may be prevented from using social media as tool for fanning communal hatred, hostility and potential violence by breading rumours and misinformation targeted at the Rohingyas and their larrgely Muslim identity. Her tweet is an unsubstantiated and prejudiced legation amounting to hate speech. The after effects of her fake news peddling has far reaching consequences especially in the context of the Rohingya community, they being on the complete margins of society and living in deplorable and sub human conditions in camps in many parts of the country.
As has been reported in the media, there was a huge fire that broke out that completely destroyed the Rohingya Refugee camp in Madanpur Khadar, Delhi on the 151., of March 2018. While the cause of the fire is being investigated, mischief cannot be ruled out. In this context, Ms. ' Kishwars tweets could even be seen as inciting violence against the Rohingya.
You are doubtless aware of the Supreme Court Constitution Bench judgement in Lalita Kumari v. Govt.of UP & Ors (2008) 7 SCC 164, where it was held that it is the mandatory duty of the police to register an FIR where the complaint of an offence has been made. The Court held, "i) Registration of FIR is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code, if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation. ii) If the information received does not disclose a cognizable offence but indicates the necessity for an inquiry, a preliminary inquiry may be conducted only to ascertain whether cognizable offence is disclosed or not."
Kindly provide me a copy of the FIR.