Karnataka HC grants interim relief to BJP chief JP Nadda, IT cell head Amit Malviya over communal post on X

The court said the investigation is permitted to go on but the personal presence of the petitioner shall not be insisted upon.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 21, 2024 | 4:29 PM Updated Jun 21, 2024 | 4:29 PM

JP Nadda and Amit Malviya.

The Karnataka High Court granted interim relief to BJP president JP Nadda and the party’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya over an FIR registered against a “communal” post on X shared by the Karnataka unit of the BJP.

“Investigation is permitted to go on in its usual course, subject to the rider that the personal presence of the petitioner shall not be insisted upon by the investigating agency,” a single judge bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit said, according to LiveLaw.

The High Grounds Police Station in Bengaluru, in its notice dated 6 May, had asked Nadda and the party’s Malviya to appear before it within seven days of receiving the notice.

Nadda and Malviya have been summoned by the police following a complaint filed by KPCC media and communication chairman Ramesh Babu Ramesh Babu.

The police said that the animation posted on X was intended to create enmity, hatred and ill will against the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities.

“The said video… has intention to create feelings of enmity, hatred and ill-will against members of SC/ST community. So the FIR was Registered in High Grounds Police station bearing the FIR no.95/2024 U/S 125 of RP Act and 505(2) of IPC and investigation is conducted,” the police said.

Related: Bengaluru police summon Nadda, Malviya over ‘communal’ post on X

EC ordered takedown of the post

On 7 May, the Election Commission (EC) directed X to “immediately” take down the animated video related to the row over reservations for the Muslim community.

The post was titled, Beware…Beware…Beware…! It shows a bird’s nest with three small eggs labelled “Scheduled Castes” (SC), “Scheduled Tribes” (SC), and “OBCs”.

It then shows two men, purportedly animated versions of Rahul Gandhi and Siddaramaiah, walking in and dropping a big egg, labelled “Muslim”. When the egg hatches, the chick with a skullcap is bigger than the rest, and Rahul feeds it with a box of “funds”.

The chick grows and with its wings, pushes the other nestlings out while the Congress leaders guffaw.

The EC said the CEO Karnataka registered an FIR in this connection at the Malleshwaram Police Station and wrote to ‘X’ on 5 May to take down the objectionable post as per the provisions of the Information Technology Act and the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021.

“However, the post has not been taken down yet. Therefore, ‘X’ is directed to take down the post immediately,” the EC said.

On 6 May, a delegation comprising concerned citizens and representatives from various civil society organisations met the Chief Election Officer of Karnataka to complain about BJP Karnataka.

The complaint highlighted alleged violations of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), as well as sections 153A, 505 (1) (c), and 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) by the BJP state unit for spreading fake news and hate speech through their official X handle and newspaper advertisements.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)

(South First is now on WhatsApp  and Telegram)