New Delhi [India], December 9 (ANI): The West Bengal government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it has decided to withdraw the FIRs registered against online publication Opindia.com's editor Nupur Sharma and others for articles published on the website.
A Bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul appreciated the stand taken by the West Bengal government for withdrawing FIR and expressed hope that it may be a new beginning and it would be followed by other states also not to initiate criminal proceedings against people having divergent views.
The Bench remarked, "Journalists suffer the consequences of what is otherwise also in the public domain... Hope others (states) will follow".
The apex court then disposed of the plea filed by Sharma and others in June 2020 after the West Bengal Police had registered cases against them for offences under Section 153A (promoting enmity between religious groups), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.
The Supreme Court had earlier stayed proceedings in four FIRs lodged in West Bengal against Sharma and others in connection with articles published by them.
The main writ petition filed by Sharma and others including the founder and CEO of the news portal and editor of its Hindi language publications claimed that the West Bengal government and its "authoritarian Kolkata Police" are misusing FIRs and "brute police powers" to intimidate journalists. (ANI)