FIR Filed Against Vasai Lawyer for Sharing Dhruv Rathee Video Criticising PM Modi On WhatsApp Group


MUMBAI — The Mira Bhayandar Vasai Virar (MBVV) police in Maharashtra have registered a First Information Report (FIR) against advocate Adesh Bansode for allegedly sharing a video by YouTuber Dhruv Rathee that criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Lok Sabha elections.

On May 20, Adesh Bansode, who also serves as the Maharashtra secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, shared a link to Dhruv Rathee’s video titled ‘Mind of a Dictator’ in the Bar Association of Vasai WhatsApp group, accompanied by the message “Do watch the video before going to vote.” This action occurred during the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections, Vartha Bharati reported.

After receiving a complaint from another lawyer regarding the “objectionable” nature of the video shared by Bansode, the police initiated a suo motu complaint and filed an FIR on May 21.

According to the FIR, registered based on a complaint by a head constable of the secret branch of MBVV Police, the video and its accompanying message made false statements about Lok Sabha election candidates and attempted to influence voters, thus violating the prohibitory orders issued by MBVV Police Commissioner Madhukar Pandey between May 18 and May 20 for the smooth conduct of the general elections.

Bansode has labeled the FIR as illegal and alleged it as a move by the state to suppress people’s voices. He claimed that proper legal procedures were not followed before filing the FIR under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Citing CrPC Section 195, Bansode argued that it is mandatory for the police to obtain prior permission from the concerned court before registering an FIR under Section 188 of the IPC. He further questioned whether the police would be lodging cases against all the individuals who watched, liked, and shared the video, stating his protest against what he deems an illegal FIR.

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