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High Court dismiss writ filed by Chattisgarh Christian forum seeking registration of FIR for hate speech

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The petitioner has filed the present petition alleging that the petitioner
is a forum which is working for upliftment and betterment of the
Christian society in the State of Chhattisgarh is subjected to violence
and intimidation of the people of political influence petition to direct the police authority to register FIR against
respondent No. 9 on account of hate speeches against Christian
religion.

The facts projected by the petitioner are that the Chhattisgarh
Christian Forum through its president has filed an application before
the Station House Officer, Khamhardih, District – Raipur for
registration of FIR against one person respondent No. 9 alleging that
on 08.01.2021 the petitioner has received a video through social
media wherein before a public meeting respondent No. 9 was giving
a speech, in which he has said against Christian religion and tried to
provoke the general public against followers of the Christian religion.

Respondent No. 9 gave inflammatory speech due to which people
have started threatening the Christian followers, committing marpeet
and destroyed their household property with the object that Christian
followers should stop continuing Christianity. The petitioner has also
made compliant before the Collector, Sukma on 25.11.2020
reiterating the same facts.

It is contended by the learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner that
on the basis of some of the evidence and materials available with
petition, it can be seen that offence has been committed by
respondent No. 9 and on his instigation other villagers have started
committing marpeet with the persons who follow Christianity and
destroyed their property, household and caused injuries to them also.

To substantiate her submission, she would refer toone incident
alleged to have been occurred with Madvi Bheema who was resident
of village Chingawaram district – Sukma. She has lodged FIR on
25.11.2020 against 16 people belonging to same village who had
committed marpeet with her, destroyed her properties, household
goods. This incident occurred because she follows Christianity.

The learned Senior Counsel would also refer to one complaint of
Madvi Muka dated 25.11.2020, dated 03.01.2021 by Ganga Markam,
complaint by Smt. Sunny Kunjam and on the basis of her complaint
FIR has been registered on 08.01.2021 against three persons
belonging to the village Korra Maharapara, Police Station – Gadiras
reiterating the same incident but with different persons by different
persons.

It has also been contended by the learned counsel for the State with
regard to complaint dated 25.11.2020, 03.01.2021, 07.01.2021 and
19.01.2021 that the said complaints are not related with respondent
No. 9, they are concerned with some other miscreants and in the said
complaints appropriate actions have been taken against them. The
complaint which has been made against respondent No. 9, the police
authorities have made elaborate inquiry and recorded the statements
of concerned members of the public meeting as well as the
statements of the members of the Christian community and it has
been found that no cognizable offence is made out. Therefore, the
writ petition deserves to be dismissed.

From analysis of the legal provisions, it is crystal clear that the
writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is not
maintainable before the High Court. However, it is open to the
petitioner to approach the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class
having territorial jurisdiction over the place of offence if it deemed
appropriate and necessary for filing of complaint under Section
156(3) of Cr.P.C or Section 200 of Cr.P.C. and in-turn Magistrate will
follow the procedure prescribed under the provisions of the Cr.P.C. It
is made clear that this Court has not expressed any opinion on merits
of the case whether the averments made in the petition discloses any
criminal offence or not, it is for the concerning Magistrate to decide
the case on merits of the case without being influenced by any of the
observations made by this Court.

Considering the facts and materials on record and in view of the law
laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, this Court is of the view
that this writ petition is not maintainable.

With the aforesaid observations, the writ petition (criminal) is finally
disposed off with the aforesaid liberty in favour of the petitioner.

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