SC stays arrest of Shashi Tharoor and other six journalists

The Supreme Court on Tuesday 9th February temporarily stopped the legal proceedings of the arrest of Congress server Shashi Tharoor and six other journalists, including Rajdeep Sardesai, in relation to the FIRs lodged against them for their apparent “misleading” tweets on the violence during the farmers’ tractor rally in New Delhi on Republic Day.

The cases will be taken up for hearing after two weeks, the apex court said. “We will hear you after two weeks and stay the arrest in the meanwhile,” the SC bench said.

The three-judge bench of Chief Justice Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued notices and sought answers from the Centre and others on the petitions filed by Tharoor, along with those of Sardesai and journalists Mrinal Pande, Zafar Agha, Paresh Nath, Vinod K Jose and Anant Nath, seeking the quashing of police cases against them.

When the SC bench commanded by CJI Bobde said it was issuing notice in the matter, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing for Tharoor, said that no pressurized action be taken against the petitioners in the meantime.

“Nothing is going to happen. Where is the danger?,” said the SC bench, also consists of Justices Bopanna and Ramasubramanian.

On 30th January, Delhi Police had booked Tharoor, Sardesai and others. Previously, Tharoor and six journalists were booked by the Noida Police for alleged incitement to rebel, among other charges, over the violence during the farmers’ tractor rally in Delhi, officials had said. Similarly, Madhya Pradesh Police had filed a case against Tharoor and the six journalists over spreading misinforming tweets about the violence during the farmers’ tractor rally in Delhi.

On Republic Day, a ‘morcha’ of protesting farmers had confronted the police in the national capital of Delhi during the tractor rally called by the farmer unions to emphasize their demand for the revoking of the three farm laws.