While dismissing a charge against Kerala MLAK.T. Jaleel, a Delhi court observed, “ Society’s outrage is no ground to suppress free speech. ” It must be kept in mind, the court added, that freedom of speech protects conduct that “ society may find veritably obnoxious ”.
The charge an exercising Counsellor filed against K.T. Jaleel in the Supreme Court, G.S. Mani, in the Rouse Avenue court, on a social media post by the MLA, in which he'd allegedly used the terms ‘ Indian- Occupied Kashmir ’ and ‘ Azad Kashmir ’ to apply to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, and that people on the Indian side of the Kashmir region weren't happy. The plaintiff told the court that the MLA, through his tweet, had committed an offence, and hence had sought a first information report( FIR) to be filed against Mr Jaleel under Sections 124A, 153A, 153B, 504, 505( 1) and 505( 2) of the IPC for the contended “anti-national ” reflections of the indicted on Twitter, the social media platform. While dismissing the complaint, fresh Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Harjeet Singh Jaspal said that the court was aware that the alleged statements made by the indicted were unpopular but it must be kept in mind that freedom of speech protects conduct that society finds veritably obnoxious. “ Society’s outrage alone isn't a defence for suppressing free speech, ” the court added. The court further held that, in a republic, freedom of speech and expression opens up channels of free discussion of issues. It also plays a pivotal part in the conformation of public opinion on social, political and profitable matters.
The court also counted on opinions taken by Indian and US courts to arrive at its conclusion. It relied on a Delhi High Court judgment, involving painter M F Hussain, to state that the high court “ observed that our Constitution by way of Composition 19( 1), which provides for freedom of study and expression, underpins a free and harmonious society ”. The court also reckoned on the US Supreme Court judgment named Texas Vs Johnson which decided on the controversial question of flag burning and held that “ free speech ought to be defended, though it may be against the popular beliefs of the society or may indeed be obnoxious to some.