The Bombay High Court on December 8 sought to understand what stand other democracies across the world take about offensive tweets or posts on social media.
The High Court was hearing arguments on a plea filed by Mumbai resident Sunaina Holey, who was booked for allegedly posting offensive tweets against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son and state minister Aaditya Thackeray.
Holey has demanded quashing of the FIR against her.
Advocate Abhinav Chandrachud, representing Holey, said that the facts in the FIR against her client did not reveal any offence. "She had only posted a video and was not its author or creator," Chandrachud argued.
Chandrachud also cited a judgement passed by the Bombay High Court in connection with editorials written in Saamana, the mouthpiece of the Shiv Sena, after the demolition of Babri Mosque in Ayodhya and Hindu-Muslim riots in Mumbai.
The editorials had mention of words such as "crush the traitors", the counsel pointed out. "The Bombay High Court held that the Saamana had not referred to all Muslims as traitors but only anti-national Muslims as traitors."
Senior advocate Manoj Mohite, representing the Maharashtra government, told the High Court that an officer of the Mumbai Police's social media department found "something fishy" in Holey's tweets.
Hence, an FIR was registered against her, the advocate said.
Holey's counsel then said that her client only posted a video on her Twitter account that consisted of a certain community but she did not target any particular community.
The High Court then asked, "In the entire world, how many democratic countries are there like India? the court asked. "In those countries, what is the stand taken on such tweets, WhatsApp messages or any criticism?"