Bangalore Riots 2020
Bangalore Riots 2020
Litigation News

Bangalore Riots: Names will go viral; may offend Right of Privacy, Karnataka HC rejects plea seeking publication of names of accused

The petitioner advocate had prayed for the publication of the names of the accused persons on the official website of the Bengaluru City Police.

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Karnataka High Court today refused to entertain a plea seeking to give wide publicity to the names of accused persons arrested in connection with the Bangalore Riots that took place on August 11.

The petitioner advocate had prayed for the publication of the names of the accused persons on the official website of the Bengaluru City Police. As many as 71 FIRs were registered against a number of accused.

The order passed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi reads,

"If we grant prayer clause 1, it will amount to giving wide publicity to the names of the persons who are shown as accused, or who have been arrested in connection with the offence [Bangalore Riots]. Once the names are published on the official website of the City Police, the names will go viral, which may offend the Right of Privacy of the accused."

Karnataka High Court

The petitioner had contended that he is a pro bono litigant intending to take up the cause of the accused, who were helpless as police personnel were not following the law laid down in the case of DK Basu as well numerous provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

Refuting this submission, the Bench opined,

"....the petitioner is not acting for the benefit of the accused persons. Therefore, this is not a fit case where petitioner is allowed to invoke extraordinary jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India by way of filing a Public Interest Litigation."

In order to buttress its submission, the petitioner had relied on Section 41C of the CrPC. In response, the Court stated,

"Section 41C operates in a totally different area. It provides that the state government shall cause to be displayed on notice board outside the control rooms of every district, the names and addresses of persons arrested, and the name and designation of police officers who made the arrest."

However, the Court clarified that the issues raised in the petition regarding violations of the rights of the accused committed by the police would be kept open.

During the course of the hearing, the Court had also raised serious doubts about the credentials of the petitioner.

"Bonafide intention of the petitioner should be reflected in the prayers", opined the Bench, while disposing of the plea.

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