WB to withdraw FIRs against OpIndia Editor, SC told 

WB govt decides to withdraw FIRs against OpIndia Editor, SC told 

The court also expressed concern over diminishing tolerance among people

The Supreme Court of India. Credit: Reuters Photo

The West Bengal government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it had decided to withdraw the FIRs lodged against OpIndia Editor Nupur Sharma and journalist Ajeet Bharti for their articles published on their website.

The top court appreciated the stand taken by West Bengal government and hoped that other states also follow the decision taken by the state government as journalists had to suffer consequences for their reports.

A bench presided over by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul expressed hope it may be a new beginning and other state governments also refrain from initiating criminal proceedings against people having divergent views. 

The court also expressed concern over diminishing tolerance among people and added that it is time for people including the political class to introspect.

Senior advocate Siddhartha Dave, representing the state government, submitted that the state has decided to withdraw the FIRs registered against Sharma, Bharti and others.

The petitioners, for their part, claimed that the FIRs were registered in connection with different stories carried by the OpIndia platform. 

They further contended that various other mainstream news outlets had also carried articles and news pieces on the concerned subjects. However, the police registered FIRs only against the petitioners. 

The court had subsequently stayed the FIRs lodged in June 2020 and in September 2021.

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