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HC quashes case booked for a Facebook post related to Foxconn labour unrest – Mrit News

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‘Criticism of government machinery will not attract offences under the Indian Penal Code’

‘Criticism of government machinery will not attract offences under the Indian Penal Code’

The Madras High Court quashed a criminal case registered against a woman for her Facebook post related to the labour unrest at Apple iPhone maker Foxconn’s Sriperumbudur plant last year following complaints of food poisoning at the dormitories occupied mostly by women labourers.

Justice N. Sathish Kumar quashed the first information report registered at the M.G.R. Nagar police station in Chennai against Valarmathi, who made a Facebook post about the Foxconn incident, on the basis of a complaint lodged by a bike taxi rider K. Rajesh of Nesapakkam. The complainant had accused her of inciting protests against the State government.

The judge, however, agreed with the petitioner’s counsel M. Radhakrishnan that mere criticism of the government machinery and seeking medical facilities for the workers would not attract offences under Sections 153A, 505(1)(a) and 505(2), all related to promoting enmity and disturbing public peace, of the Indian Penal Code.

In his complaint, the bike taxi rider had stated that he came across the petitioner’s Facebook post on December 18, 2021 wherein she had allegedly stated that more than 100 women labourers had fallen sick after the food poisoning episode, and eight of them had died but their bodies were not being shown to the public.

The complainant had also accused the petitioner of alleging that many male labourers, who protested in favour of the women labourers, had been brutally attacked by the police, and the State government was protecting the corporate giant and was instead using force against the workers to quell their protests.

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