Rajasthan HC Calls on Police to Stop Sedition Investigation Against TV Journalist Aman Chopra

A day after suspending the arrest of TV journalist Aman Chopra, the Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday ordered state police not to investigate allegations against him under Section 124A (sedition) of the IPC as the Supreme Court passed an interim order and stayed the trial in all sedition cases pending before the courts, until the Center completes the review exercise of the provision.

The High Court ordered Chopra, a journalist with News18 India, to appear before Dungarpur Police at 11am on May 16. The court said he could not be arrested in any other FIRs already filed, or that could be, during his April 22. TV program.

Three FIRs have been registered against Chopra in Rajasthan after the show “Desh Nahi Jhukne Denge” aired on the channel on April 22.

On April 23, an FIR was filed against him at Sadar Police Station, Bundi District, under ICC Sections 153A (promotion of enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony), 295 (injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting his religion or religious beliefs) and 120B (criminal association).

On the same day, another FIR was filed at Bichhiwara Police Station, Dungarpur under IPC Sections 153A, 295A, 124A (Sedition) and Section 67 of the Computers Act.

A third FIR was filed at Kotwali Police Station, Alwar, on 24 April, under the same sections as Bundi FIR.

According to the High Court’s order, Chopra is said to have broadcast “Desh Nahi Jhukne Denge” and “the allegation against him is that said discussion was also posted on his Twitter account, which led to community discord and community riots. in Alwar on April 22”.

On May 7, the Jaipur Bench of the High Court had awarded relief to Chopra in Alwar and Bundi FIRs, stating that the petitioner, Chopra, would not be arrested in those two cases “until further notice”. .

The head office of the High Court of Rajasthan in Jodhpur hears the Dungarpur FIR. On May 10, the HC also suspended Chopra’s arrest in the case.

On Thursday, the HC said it was of the view that “investigation, including the questioning of the petitioner, is necessary before reaching any concrete conclusion regarding the commission of the alleged offenses against the petitioner”. The court ordered Chopra to appear before the Investigator (IO) of Bichhiwara Police Station, Dungarpur on May 16. He said the IO “must conduct the investigation/questioning by 5 p.m.”

After that, the state would be free to appeal for a new investigative opportunity, if needed, at the next court date, May 20.