Privilege proceedings against columnist Shobha De, stayed

Supreme Court: In the present case against renowned columnist Shobha De, where she has been accused of insulting the Maharashtra legislature and Marathi culture, the Division Bench of Dipak Misra and P.C. Pant, JJ., passed an Interim Order putting a stay upon the privilege proceedings against her with regard to the issue.

In a recent development, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Phadnavis had announced that Marathi films must be shown compulsorily during Prime Time on minimum one screen out of many screens in all the multiplexes for encouraging Marathi Cinema. Shobha De took to popular social networking site Twitter to express her objections upon the move.  Her views did not go down well with some members of the political fraternity. In pursuance of the matter, a Notice No.17477/M.L./D-10 dated 10.04.2015, was issued to the petitioner by the Principal Secretary, Maharashtra Legislature.

Appearing for the petitioner, C.A. Sundaram contended that the petitioner’s tweets do not affect the privilege of the Legislative Assembly; rather it is an expression of her opinion on the issue. It was further argued from the petitioner’s side that the tweets in question, if read in apposite manner, are comments on the Government and they do not even remotely affect the privilege of the Legislature. Shobha De v. Chairman, Maharashtra Legislature Secretariat, 2015 SCC OnLine SC 392, decided on 28.04.2015  

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