On 5th May 2021, the Bombay High Court quashed the FIR lodged against Sunaina Holey for her tweet on an assembly of migrant workers outside the Bandra station in Mumbai during the lockdown last April. The Division Bench comprising of Justice S S Shinde and Justice M S Karnik reserved Sunaina's petition for orders on January 7. Sunaina Holey was charged under section 153A which is Promoting enmity between different groups and doing acts prejudicial and section 505 of the Indian Penal Code which is statements promoting public mischief.
Advocate Abhinav Chandrachud clarified the contentions of the petitioner by stating that she was merely practising her fundamental right to speech and expression under Article 19 of the Constitution. He added that the tweet does not constitute the offence under 153A and 505 of IPC. He further told the court that the petitioner is neither author nor the creator of the mentioned video in the tweet. He said that no FIR has been registered against the person who was blaming the Prime Minister of India for the pandemic outbreak in the video. Petitioner merely reposted the said video criticizing the viewpoint of the person in the video. He also cited cited Manzar Sayeed Khan Vs. The state of Maharashtra, in which four principles were laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court.
 There is no need to wait for an investigation to be completed before quashing an FIR under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973
 The intention (mens rea) of the accused must be judged based on the words used by the accused along with surrounding circumstances.
 The statement must be judged on what a reasonable and strong-minded person will think.
 To constitute an offence under Section 153A of the IPC, two communities must be named.
“Assuming that the said tweet is an extreme view in retaliation for the expression by a person in the crowd who was blaming the Prime Minister of India, the said tweet is to be judged from the mind of a strong prudent person,” High Court stated.
“It is revealed from the contents of the complaint that no community or religion was named, and if a test of strong and prudent person judgement is applied, said tweet cannot be said to have created hatred between communities. It is difficult to conclude that petitioner has mens rea (intention of wrongdoing),” HC added.
After considering all the submissions from both counsels, High Court quashed the FIR after careful and in-depth consideration and also mentioned that they appreciate the efforts by police to keep strict supervision on social media platforms so the situation remains stable.
Respondent stated that FIR must not be quashed as the petitioner is a social media influencer and spreading false information cannot be justified. In response, Advocate Chandrachud stated tweet does not promote enmity and the police found no incident occurred as the consequence of the tweet made by the petitioner.
The court stated that we should allow the youngsters to speak their mind because that's how they learn what is right and what is wrong.
High Court also said that the other two petitions filed by Sunaina Holey will be decided separately on their merits.