Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani today contended before the Supreme Court that journalist Vinod Dua had justified the pelting of stones by a certain community on doctors and nurses during the corona pandemic. He argued that Dua tried to dissuade people from going to quarantine centres by calling them detention centres and thus tried to spread the disease.
Jethmalani: He has said that stones were thrown by a particular community because they thought they were being sent to detention centres. He said “people are saying this” – first sign of a rumour.— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) September 18, 2020
This story of his was false, if it is false, he is guilty of inciting violence.
The submissions were made by Senior Advocate Jethmalani during the hearing of the sedition petition against Dua before a Supreme Court Bench led by Justice U U Lalit. FIRs were filed against Dua on the allegations of sedition, inciting communal enmity, etc through his YouTube videos, in various states including Maharashtra, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh.
Senior Advocate Jethmalani, appearing on behalf of the complainant who had filed an FIR against Dua in Himachal Pradesh, said that Dua had a leaning against the government and that he made false claims in his YouTube videos that the government did not have enough testing means. He added that the journalist, who was accused in the me too movement, tried to incite riots by claiming that there might be food shortage because the supply chains are blocked.
Jethmalani: When you talk about possible riots, you are inciting riots. This man is trying to incite riots by showing there is a food shortage or by saying that there will be food shortage because supply chains are blocked.#sedition @JethmalaniM @VinodDua7— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) September 18, 2020
Jethmalani added that Dua did incorrect reporting on the migrant labourers situation during the pandemic which was in violation of the rules of Press Council as well the order of this court. He also mentioned how the controversial journalist had declared Delhi riots a pogrom against Muslims. He alleged that Dua asked the people to come out on streets like American people and thus called for a civil disobedience.
Jethmalani: Dua has asked people to raise their voice, come out on the streets and be violent like Americans have become, despite the lockdown. This man has tried to exploit a gigantic pandemic. He is a fly-by-knight operator who deserves to be investigated.— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) September 18, 2020
During yesterday’s hearing in the matter, the senior counsel had alleged that Dua’s channel had received funding from unknown sources. Further hearing in the matter has been scheduled on September 14.