Mumbai: A Maharashtra court yesterday dropped all charges against two women who wrote comments on Facebook questioning the shutdown in the city after Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray’s death on November 17 last year, a lawyer said. Judicial magistrate V S Yadav based in Palghar in Thane district offered relief to Shaheen Dhada and Renu Srinivasan, the accused’s lawyer Sudhir Gupta said.
“The judicial magistrate scrapped all charges accepting the closure report filed by the police in December, 2012,” Gupta said.
“The magistrate accepted the police report which said that girls did not intend to offend and they only exercised their right to freedom of expression,” he added.
On November 18, police arrested Shaheen, who posted a comment on her Facebook account questioning the shutdown after Thackeray’s death. Her friend Renu, who had ‘liked’ the Facebook comment, was also arrested. The arrests triggered a nationwide outrage, following which Superintendent of Police Ravindra Sengaonkar and Palghar police chief Senior Inspector Shrikant Pingle were suspended and a departmental probe ordered against them. Additional Superintendent of Police (Thane Rural) Sangram Nishandar was warned to be alert while dealing with such cases.IANS