AAP's Ashutosh Faces Police Complaint For 'Vulgar' Statement On Mahatma Gandhi

News World India | 0
| May 8 , 2018 , 09:58 IST

A city court on Tuesday has directed the Delhi Police to register a complaint against Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh for allegedly making 'vulgar' statements against Mahatma Gandhi and former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru in a blog in 2016.

In 2016, the former journalist Ashutosh defended sacked AAP minister Sandeep Kumar who was expelled from the party on charges of rape by referring to the reported relations Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru had with women.

The magistrate said that Ashutosh was trying to gain attention by demeaning the image of Mahatma Gandhi.

"Easy for attention seeker to stand and point finger towards Mahatma, difficult even for patriotic preacher to rise and achieve greatness like Mahatma," Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ekta Gauba observed.

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"Ashutosh Kumar has tried to gain public attention by tarnishing the revered image of Mahatma Gandhiji thereby demeaning his respect in the minds of the people to settle the political scores and made allegations, which tend to corrupt the mind of the readers including the younger generation, which in my view are cognisable offences," she said.

"Thus, I found that in the present case, prima facie there are sufficient grounds for the registration of FIR in the cognisable offences under sections 292 and 293 of the IPC. Hence, SHO, Begumpur is directed to register an FIR against respondent Ashutosh Kumar and to investigate the matter under the relevant provisions of law," the Magistrate said.

The complaint lodged against Ashutosh by one Yogender seeks an FIR against him under sections 292 (writing or drawing figure shall be deemed to be obscene if it is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect tend to deprave and corrupt persons, who are likely to read, see or hear the matter) and 293 (selling, distribution or circulation of obscene object to person under twenty years of age) of the IPC.

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In a tweet, Ashutosh defended his earlier statements as being a part of freedom of speech.

"There is a court order to file FIR ag me. I respect court, will reply in court. But Those who had gone to court after almost 2 years want to gag me/snatch my fundamental RT to freedom of expression. I am an ardent follower of Gandhiji, can’t imagine insulting him," Ashutosh tweeted.

The Court, however, specified that the statements do not fall under the ambit of freedom of speech and expression.

"It also falls within the provisions of Article 19(2) of the Constitution which bars the liberty of freedom of speech and expression on the ground of morality and hence, the speech/article given by Ashutosh could under no stretch of imagination be covered under article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution i.e. freedom of speech and expression," it said.