INDORE: The Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh high court has quashed a four-year-old
against a pharmacy owner accused of hurting religious sentiments with a social media post in which he used a picture of a couple performing
and offered free condoms and pregnancy test kits.
“Allowing the prosecution to continue the case would amount to abuse of the process of law,” Justice
Singh said of the FIR registered against Mahendra Tripathi on October 10, 2018, at Indore’s Bhawar Kuan police station.
Tripathi, who was 38 at the time, had posted alongside the Garba picture, “Pre-Loveratri Weekend Offer — Condoms (pack of 3)/ Pregnancy Test Kit at INR 0”.
A resident filed a complaint against the pharmacy owner, based on which an FIR was registered against him under the
Information Technology Act
Tripathi deleted the post and apologised on social media platforms, promising not to repeat the mistake. He then moved the high court, seeking quashing of the FIR and subsequent proceedings.
Counsel RS Raghuvanshi said Tripathi was a “religious man” and had posted the image in “good faith, offering to lure customers during the Garba period as various condom companies had come up with promotional offers”.
The government counsel opposed the petition, arguing that the post hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus.
Justice Satyendra Kumar Singh said, “…It’s apparent that the contents of the same (post) are not obscene, and hence ingredients of Section 67 of the IT Act are also not fulfilled…It is necessary to quash the proceedings in order to serve the ends of justice.”