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One should behave responsibly while uploading WhatsApp status: Bombay HC

The very purpose of WhatsApp status is to convey something to a person's contacts. It is nothing but a mode of communication with known persons, the HC said

One should behave responsibly while uploading WhatsApp status: Bombay HC

Press Trust of India Mumbai

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One should behave with a sense of responsibility while communicating something to others via their WhatsApp status, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has said while refusing to quash a case against a man for posting content allegedly spreading hatred against a religious group.
A division bench of Justices Vinay Joshi and Valmiki SA Menezes in its order on July 12 said the purpose of WhatsApp status nowadays is to convey something to your contacts.
People keep checking the WhatsApp status of their contacts often, it noted.
The bench dismissed the petition filed by 27-year-old Kishor Landkar, seeking to quash the FIR lodged against him for offences under the Indian Penal Code for intentionally hurting or offending religious sentiment or faith, as well as provisions of the Schedule Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Information Technology Act.
WhatsApp status can be a picture or video of what you are doing, thinking or something you have seen, which disappears after 24 hours. The very purpose of WhatsApp status is to convey something to a person's contacts. It is nothing but a mode of communication with known persons, the HC said.
One should behave with a sense of responsibility while communicating something to others, the court said.
The complainant's case is that in March 2023, the accused uploaded his WhatsApp status wherein he wrote a question and asked the viewers to search for the same on Google to get shocking results.
When the complainant did a Google search of the question, he noted objectionable material outraging religious feelings.
The accused claimed he had not intended to or deliberately displayed the status to outrage the feelings of any religious group, and since WhatsApp status can be seen only by those who have saved the number of the other person, he had no intention to spread hatred.
The bench in its order said the WhatsApp status uploaded by the accused instigated others to do a Google search and read what the accused person wanted them to.
The FIR prima facie discloses the accused person's deliberate and malicious intention to insult the feeling of a particular group, the court said and refused to quash the case.
The applicant cannot shed his responsibility by saying the WhatsApp status is limited circulation. There is no justification for the applicant to display such a status, the HC said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jul 24 2023 | 4:06 PM IST

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