The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday refused to stay proceedings initiated against actor Kangana Ranaut for her tweet against farmers protesting the Centre’s agriculture laws, Bar and Bench reported. Ranaut had called the protestors “terrorists”.
On October 9, a Judicial Magistrate First Class Court in Karnataka’s Tumkur district had directed the state police to register a first information report against the actor. The court’s order came after lawyer L Ramesh Naik filed a complaint.
The FIR was filed on October 14 under Sections 44 (injury), 108 (abettor), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153(A) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code.
After this, Ranaut moved the High Court seeking to quash the FIR registered against her. During Tuesday’s hearing, Justice HP Sandesh gave Ranaut a week’s time to comply with office objections. The case will be next heard on March 18.
Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee, representing Ranaut, sought a stay on the proceedings initiated against his client. However, the judge responded, “First you comply with the office objection then only we can consider your submissions.”
In her tweet posted in September, Ranaut had accused the farmers of causing unrest in the country. “People who spread misinformation and rumours about CAA [the Citizenship Amendment] act that caused riots are the same people who are now spreading misinformations about Farmers bill and causing terror in the nation, they are terrorists,” she wrote. “You very well know what I said but simply like to spread misinformation.”
The plea alleged that the actor made such statements with the clear intention to injure the people who are opposing the farmers bills, “wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riots’. It said that Ranaut’s tweet could possibly lead to “a collision between different groups”.
On Monday, a court in Mumbai issued a bailable warrant against Ranaut after she failed to appear before it in connection with the criminal defamation complaint filed by lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar.