FB row: What action taken on arrest of girls, HC asks Maha govt

Facebook arrest

The Bombay High Court today asked Maharashtra government what action it had taken against policemen who arrested two girls from nearby Palghar district for posting comments on Facebook against the bandh observed in Mumbai during Bal Thackeray's funeral in November last year.

A Bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka asked prosecutor Konde-Deshmukh to file by February 12 a reply on action taken by the state government in this case.

The court was hearing a petition filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar who prayed for a direction to the state via Home department to order appropriate penal action against the erring cops who made the arrests.

Arguing the petition in person, Tirodkar referred to a report in a newspaper which said that an inquiry into the arrests was made by Sukhwinder Singh, Inspector General of Police (Konkan region) and report submitted to the government.

The newspaper quoted the inquiry report saying three officials did not act in time to halt the arrests and opined that the case against the girls should be withdrawn. However, Singh's report was too weak to be acted upon, the newspaper report said.

Moreover, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Home Minister R R Patil had divergent views on action to be taken against the erring police personnel, Tirodkar said quoting the newspaper report.

While the Chief Minister was of the opinion that action should be taken against police officials responsible for the arrests of the two girls, the Home Minister did not agree with this and expressed his view that no action should be taken against the cops, Tirodkar said.

This had resulted in delay in taking action against the erring police officials for arresting the girls although no offence had been made out against them, the petitioner said.

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