Use WhatsApp status wisely… Bombay High Court gave strict instructions, know the whole matter

By Priyanka Tiwari July 24, 2023 11:47 PM IST

Mumbai. The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court refused to quash an FIR against an accused for allegedly posting hate material against a religious group over a WhatsApp ‘status’. The court said that while conveying some messages to others through WhatsApp ‘status’, one should behave with a sense of responsibility.

A division bench of Justice Vinay Joshi and Justice Valmiki SA Menezes said in its order on July 12 that nowadays the purpose of WhatsApp status is to inform some things to their acquaintances and people often see the WhatsApp status of their acquaintances.

An FIR was registered against a person named Kishore Landkar (27) under sections of the Indian Penal Code related to intentionally hurting religious feelings, the Scheduled Castes/Tribes Act and the Information Technology Act. Landkar had filed a petition requesting to quash the FIR, which was rejected by the court.

What did the court say on WhatsApp status?
The court said, ‘WhatsApp status… can be a picture or video of what you are doing, what you are thinking or what you have seen. It goes away after 24 hours. The purpose of WhatsApp status is to convey something to the acquaintances by a person. It is nothing but a way of contact with acquaintances. One should behave with a sense of responsibility while telling something to others.

There was a link to objectionable material on the status

The complainant had stated in his complaint that in March 2023, the accused uploaded his WhatsApp status, in which he wrote a question and asked the viewers of the status to ‘search’ it (the question) on Google to get shocking results. It has been said in the complaint that when the complainant ‘searched’ the question on Google, he found objectionable content hurting religious sentiments.

Tags: bombay high court, social media, whatsapp status