KARNATAKA HC OBSERVES SOCIAL MEDIA HAS CREATED SOCIAL DIVIDE ON COMMUNAL IDENTIFICATION

(By – Ukkash F)

The Karnataka HC has allowed bail pleas of two men who were arrested for selling noxious watermelons which endangered public health. The incident was videotaped and made viral on social media on how they picked up the watermelons from the drain and sold the same intentionally to endanger public health.

The petitioners are Rihad and Shahbaz. They were booked under Section 270 and section 328 of IPC. The bail application was rejected by the Sessions Court and the petitioners moved to HC.

The petitioners submitted that there was no criminal intent on the part of the sellers and section 328 will not be admissible. The Court found substance in petitioners submission. Moreover, the court observed that,

“The social media has created a panic situation where a social divide is being brought in the minds of the general public based on the communal identification of a group of persons.”

On the face of the material available on record, it cannot be said that the provision of Section 328 could be attracted in the present facts and circumstances of this case.