SC relief to Tharoor, others in case over R-Day tweets

SC relief to Shashi Tharoor, journalists in case over tweets on Republic Day tractor rally

Others who got the relief are Caravan magazine's editor Vinod K Jose, Anant Nath and Paresh Nath

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. Credit: PTI Photo

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the arrest of senior Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, and senior journalists, Mrinal Pande, Zafar Agha, Rajdeep Sardesai, and others in multiple FIRs lodged against them for tweets on the death of one of the protestors due to alleged police firing during the tractor rally on Republic Day.

"We stay the arrest, till we hear the matter further," a bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said. 

Acting on separate pleas by Tharoor and others, the court also issued notice to the state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and others.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Tharoor and others sought an immediate stay on the arrest of petitioners.

Read | Deep Sidhu, accused in Republic Day violence in Delhi, arrested

As Sibal pleaded for no coercive action, till this matter is further taken up for hearing, CJI Bobde asked him, "Where is the danger?" 

The court asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta if the petitioners are going to be arrested.

Mehta, for his part, urged the court to take up the matter on Wednesday.

"One should always think what could be the horrendous effect these tweets have? They have a lot of followers, you can't tell the impact of the tweets" he said.

On this, the court stayed the arrest and sought a reply from the state governments within two weeks.

Others who got the relief are Caravan magazine's editor Vinod K Jose, Anant Nath and Paresh Nath.

During the tractor rally on January 26, a man was killed near ITO. Delhi police registered an FIR on a complaint by city resident Chiranjiv Kumar.

He complained that Tharoor and the others misled people on the death of a protester in central Delhi's ITO when thousands of farmers entered areas in the national capital, including the Red Fort, which was not part of the agreed route to carry out the tractor rally.

Earlier, Tharoor and six journalists were booked by the Noida Police for sedition, among other charges, in connection with the violence during the tractor rally in Delhi.