'Calling Kashmir Occupied Does Not Enjoy Protection Under Free Speech'

J&K High Court | File Photo

Srinagar- The Jammu and Kashmir High Court ruled on Wednesday that calling Kashmir "occupied Kashmir" and its residents as "slaves" does not enjoy protection under the Constitution's Article 19 (A), on right to freedom of speech and expression.

A bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar, hearing a petition filed by advocate Muzamil Butt seeking quashing of an FIR against him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, remarked: "It is one thing to criticise the government for its negligence and express outrage on the violation of human rights of the people, but it is quite another to advocate that the people of a particular part of the country are slaves of the government of India or that they are under the occupation of armed forces of the country," online portal Bar and Bench reported.

Police had registered an FIR against Butt for his Facebook post in which he criticised the killing of seven civilians in an explosion at the encounter site in Larnoo village in October 2018.

Butt had also expressed outrage on social media platforms at other incidents of violence, which, he argued, was within his right to free speech.
"By making these comments, Butt was supporting the claim that Jammu and Kashmir is not a part of India," the court said.

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