Karnataka fined Rs1L for illegal defamation case arrest

Representative image.

The Karnataka High Court slapped a penalty of Rs 1 lakh on the state government over the illegal arrest of S Jayakanth, for posting comments against former prime minister H D Devegowda on social media, and ordered an inquiry against the police officer and the magistrate.

A single-judge bench of Justice P S Dinesh Kumar pronounced the verdict on Friday.

Admin of Facebook page 'Troll Maga', S Jayakanth, was arrested days after he had obtained bail in a defamation case. The Srirampura police arrested him by registering a second FIR, which was quashed by the court.

Advocate for petitioner M Arun Shyam contended that police have deprived the petitioner of his fundamental rights.

Justice Dinesh Kumar observed in the judgment that the police action against the petitioner was illegal and ordered the government to pay Rs 1 lakh to the petitioner in a month.

The court directed the Director-General of Police (DGP) to conduct a departmental inquiry against the police officers who filed the second FIR in the same case, and recover the cost from officers found guilty in the departmental inquiry within three months.

Inquiry against magistrate

Justice Dinesh Kumar also directed the Registrar General of the court to conduct an inquiry against the magistrate, who failed to comply with the guidelines of the Supreme Court.

The apex court, in the Arnish Kumar vs State of Bihar case, had said that "authorising the detention without recording reasons by the Judicial Magistrate concerned shall be liable for departmental action by the appropriate high court."

Background

The Srirampura police booked S Jayakanth on the allegation of JD(S) party workers that he had posted comments on former prime minister H D Devegowda and his family members on May 26, 2019. Following the FIR, he approached the sessions court and obtained anticipatory bail on June 10, 2019.

However, when Jayakanth went to Srirampura police station to execute the bond, the police deliberately did not permit him.

Meanwhile, the police registered a second FIR on June 23, based on which the petitioner was arrested. The magistrate handed him over to the police custody.

 

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