Ignore irresponsible statements: Bombay HC to Maha govt

Irresponsible statements best ignored: Bombay High Court to Maharashtra govt in Kangana Ranaut case

The court however expressed that Kangana Ranaut should exercise restraint referring to her comments

Kangana Ranaut and Bombay High Court. Credit: PTI and DH Photos

As the Bombay High Court delivered the verdict in the Kangana Ranaut vs State of Maharashtra case, it has come out with a significant bit of advice for governments: Ignore irresponsible statements.

Referring to the series of tweets of Kangana Ranaut against the Maharashtra Government and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the division bench comprising Justice SJ Kathawala and Justice RI Chagla, said: “Irresponsible statement made by a citizen in an individual capacity, however wrong or distasteful it may be, are best ignored.”

Further, it went on to add: “Illegal and colourable action/s on part of the state or its agencies vis-à-vis a citizen, is far too serious and damaging to society to be overlooked.”

In the detailed order, the court said: “Whatever be the folly of an individual, whether in the matter of unauthorized construction, or irresponsible statements hurting the sentiments of individuals or the public in general, no action against such individual by anyone, much less by the state, can lie except within the four corners of law. By no means, colourable exercise of power or resort to threats, use of muscle power and/or causing injury by unlawful means to such person or to his/her property, can be permitted in any civil society such actions are the very antithesis of the rule of law.”(sic)

On the issue of statements of Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut and Saamana headline ‘ukhad dala’, the court said: “In the said news report, it is inter alia stated that the petitioner who was unnecessarily spoiling the name of Mumbai Police by comparing Mumbai with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir has received a good blow from BMC. The aforestated response of Raut and the language used by him show that because the petitioner tweeted that she was threatened by Raut and questioned, “Why Mumbai is feeling like Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Raut, without being bothered that the rule of law should always prevail, was determined to teach a lesson to the Petitioner. iuch conduct certainly does not bevt a leader like Raut who is also a Parliamentarian.”(sic)