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‘Can’t make fun of customs of a community’: Mumbai court orders probe against actor Payal Rohatgi for Tweet against anti-Hindu riot accused Safoora Zargar

The complainant, advocate Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh had approached the magistrate in end-December last year and said that the Amboli police station had failed to take action against Rohatgi for her tweet in June last year.

Actress Payal Rohatgi, who is known for her uncensored remarks on social media, has been embroiled in legal trouble for her last year’s Tweet against riot accused Safoora Zargar. Recently, an Andheri magistrate court ordered a police inquiry against actor Payal Rohatgi for her June 2020 Tweet against Jamia Millia Islamia student Safoora Zargar. It has ordered Mumbai police to find if there is sufficient material to proceed against actor Payal Rohatgi in a complaint filed by a city-based advocate, Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh, against her for her alleged communal tweets.

Metropolitan Magistrate Bhagawat T. Zirape, while ordering the probe, opined that prima facie the tweets show disregard for Muslim women and the community. The court said in his order that every community has the right to profess its religion and that no individual has the right to make fun of the customs or rites of another community. 

It, however, noted that the complainant had not submitted a certificate as required under the Indian Evidence Act to decide the admissibility of electronic records. Magistrate Zirape said that technical investigation about the tweets is necessary to proceed against the accused and such investigation can be conducted only by the police and went on to order an inquiry.

The complainant, advocate Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh had approached the magistrate in end-December last year and said that the Amboli police station had failed to take action against Rohatgi for her tweet in June last year.

In June 2020, Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh had filed a police complaint at Amboli police station in Mumbai against the actor for her abusive tweets on Twitter against Safoora Zargar, the out on bail accused in the Delhi Anti-Hindu Riots. He had stated in his complaint that her tweet was ‘exceedingly derogatory’ to the people of the community and further that her post defamed its women.

Payal Rohatgi keeps landing herself in legal trouble for her statements on social media platforms

The same month, Twitter also suspended Payal Rohatgi’s account on the pretext of posting an abusive tweet.

In the last few years, Rohatgi had always landed herself in legal trouble for her controversial statements on social media platforms. Her activities on social media mainly revolve around current affairs. After actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, she had shifted her concentration towards the nepotism debate in the film industry and slammed several A-listers in Bollywood after Shushant Singh Rajput ended his life in June.

Safoora Zargar – one of the masterminds of Anti-Hindu Delhi riots, according to Delhi Police

Jamia Millia Islamia student Safoora Zargar was arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for her involvement in the Anti-Hindu Delhi riots. She was reportedly the general secretary of the Congress-backed NSUI’s Jamia unit.

According to the reports, Zargar was among the first two coordinators of the Jamia Coordination Committee, which was set up in December last year to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The sociology student from Kashmir was an active member in Congress and its student wing National Students Union of India (NSUI).

Zargar was arrested by the Delhi Police in the month of April for allegedly leading the anti-CAA protests at the Jaffrabad metro station of Delhi in February 2020. After being denied bail on two previous occasions, the Delhi High Court had granted her bail in June this year based on humanitarian grounds.

The Delhi Police had claimed that she was part of the conspiracy to “destroy, destabilize and disintegrate the Government of India in order to compel to withdraw the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the alleged National Register of Citizens”.

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