‘Kashmir Walla’ editors move HC against FIR over report

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 3/5/2021 1:28:46 PM

SRINAGAR, March 4: The editor and assistant editor of webportal and news weekly The Kashmir Walla on Wednesday moved the Jammu and Kashmir High Court asking for a stay on the proceedings and quashing of the first information report in relation to a news report. The complaint was filed by the Indian Army for the report, published on January 27, about its personnel allegedly forcing a school in Shopian district to hold a Republic Day event.
Justice Rajnesh Oswal, who heard the plea on Wednesday, issued the notice to the police and the Army to file a report within the next hearing, scheduled for April 2. In the plea, The Kashmir Walla Editor-in-Chief Fahad Shah and Assistant Editor Yashraj Sharma called the FIR against the website “clearly unconstitutional and against the law”.
“The petitioners were just carrying on their legal duties and reported a news item for which the petitioners fulfilled all the professional responsibilities as they were required to do and took utmost precautions for producing the correct version,” the plea said. “The complainant who has filed an application has neither read the news properly nor verified the contents from the sources. The news item is a piece of news based on facts collected by the newspaper and does not invoke the iron hand of the state to silent the dissenting voices.”
The first information report against The Kashmir Walla’s journalists was registered on January 30 after the Army accused them of spreading fake news in the complaint. Besides them, the police had also named the website, The Kashmiriyat, for publishing a report on the same incident.
The FIR was filed in the Imam Sahib area of Shopian under Sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.
In February, a sessions court in Jammu and Kashmir denied interim relief from arrest to Shah and Sharma as Additional Sessions Judge in Shopian held that there was no “exceptional reason and sufficient ground” to grant the journalists anticipatory bail.



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