No coercive steps against lawyers, journalist; SC notice to Tripura police on plea challenging UAPA charges

New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Tripura police challenging its action to invoke Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) provisions against two lawyers and a journalist over their social media posts regarding the recent communal violence in Tripura.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana directed the police not to take any coercive action against lawyers Mukesh Kumar and Ansarul Haq Ansari and journalist Shyam Meera Singh.
The petition has challenged the Tripura Police’s decision to invoke UAPA against Kumar and Ansari over their social media posts and statements and journalist Singh for tweeting “Tripura Burning”.

After the Tripura police booked them for offences punishable under the UAPA, petitioners then moved the apex court seeking to quash the first information report (FIR) registered against them.

The police slapped UAPA charges against lawyers who were part of a team that published a fact-finding report about the recent communal violence in the state.

“The petition is filed in relation to the targeted political violence against the Muslim minorities in the State of Tripura during the second half of the month of October 2021, and the subsequent efforts by the State of Tripura to monopolize the flow of information and facts emanating from the affected areas by invoking provisions of the UAPA against members of civil society including advocates and journalists who have made the effort to bring facts in relation to the targeted violence in the public domain,” the plea stated.

The plea filed by Kumar, Ansari and Singh, said, “The petitioners are seeking to quash qua the petitioners herein of the FIR. The petitioners are also challenging the constitutional validity of Section 2(1)(o) r/w Section 13 of the UAPA and provision pertaining to bail under Section 43(d)(5) of the UAPA.” (ANI)

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