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Allahabad HC stays ex-IAS officer’s arrest, booked for tweet on COVID-19 mismanagement in Uttar Pradesh

 The court’s Lucknow bench of justices Ramesh Sinha and Jaspreet Singh gave relief to the retired officer and directed police authorities not to take any coercive action against the accused and stayed the arrest.

Allahabad HC stays ex-IAS officers arrest booked for tweet on COVID-19 mismanagement in Uttar Pradesh-dnm
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Bengaluru, First Published Jun 4, 2021, 5:13 PM IST
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THE Allahabad High Court stayed the arrest of Surya Pratap Singh, a retired officer, who tweeted some photos and videos alleging Covid mismanagement in Uttar Pradesh.

The court’s Lucknow bench of justices Ramesh Sinha and Jaspreet Singh gave relief to the retired officer and directed police authorities not to take any coercive action against the accused and stayed the arrest.

"Till the next date of listing or till submission of police report under section 173 (2) Cr.P.C., if any, before the Competent Court, whichever is earlier, the arrest of the petitioner- Surya Pratap Singh, under Sections 153, 465 and 505 of I.P.C., Section 21 of the Uttar Pradesh Public Health and Epidemic Diseases Control Act, 2000, Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and Section 67 of the Information Technology as Amended Act, 2000, Police Station, Kotwali, District Unnao shall remain stayed of course subject to the restraint that the petitioner shall fully cooperate with the investigation and shall appear as and when called upon to assist in the investigation," the order said as stated by Bar and Bench.

A First Information Report (FIR) was registered against Singh, for a ‘tweet’, which he posted on May 13. It was alleged that the photographs attached to the tweet were from 2014 and were deliberately used to spread hatred and resulted in spreading tension among different sections in the locality.

He was charged with offences under Sections 153 (act with intention to cause riot), 465 (forgery) and 505 (public mischief) of Indian Penal Code.

Counsel for the petitioner argued that the petitioner is a retired IAS officer. He has devoted his life in service of the society and has served the nation with full dedication. He has only raised the issues of public and social concerns through various social media and that during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, he has raised the grievances of citizens on social media like ‘Twitter’.

The Counsel further submitted that on coming to know the fact that the representative photograph, though was real but could be misused, the petitioner immediately deleted the tweet in the interest of society.

After considering the submissions of the parties, the court said that a case for interim relief was made out and stayed the arrest.

NOTE: Asianet News humbly requests everyone to wear masks, sanitize, maintain social distancing and get vaccinated as soon as eligible. Together we can and will break the chain #ANCares #IndiaFightsCorona

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