Actor Kangana Ranaut still has the freedom to have a Twitter account and to share her opinions, the High Court of Bombay said while hearing a petition from a lawyer who wants Ranaut’s Twitter account to be blocked.
The court asked the petitioner, Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh, to show how Kangana’s tweets have caused him personal injury or breached his fundamental rights.
Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh said, “I am a Maharashtrian, a Mumbaikar, and she calls Pappu Sena to court. It hurts me, because it’s a personal injury.”
The plaintiff argued that the actor had spread hatred between cultures and had harmed his religion through his tweets.
The Division of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik asked the counsel of the Maharashtra Government, Jayesh Yagnik, who said, “This petition needs to be converted into a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), otherwise many people will read newspapers and start coming to the court stating they are hurt. Constitutional right and constitutional remedy are different. This is a vague petition.”
Justice Shinde told the complainant, “Any individual can have this account. She also has the fundamental right to have an account to express her thoughts. So, you have to prove how your fundamental rights are breached. Unless the case comes under the reasonable regulations, can we acquiesce to your request? If you have to judge what will you do?” The petitioner said, “Free speech and hate speech are different. In my petition, there are multiple examples of how she has hurt many feelings. There are many cases filed in various courts against her. There is a personal mental injury that I have suffered through her tweets.”
At this, Justice Shinde said, “That is different. Word against word, how can we go into this issue? You think over that. We are not in a hurry to dismiss your petition. Take your time. We don’t want to discourage a young lawyer like you. Go through your points and make fresh arguments. On the next date, we will bring an end to this.”
The court will hear Deshmukh’s petition on January 7.
Kangana has spoken openly against Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. Recently, the Bombay High Court criticised the Shiv Sena-led BMC for the way her office in Khar was demolished citing illegal construction.