Whether Courts Give Clean Chit To Dua Or Not, He’s Beyond Doubt A Habitual Fake News Peddler
Controversial journalist Vinod Dua had approached the Supreme Court on Saturday asking protection from coercive action, including arrest in a sedition case filed by Himachal Pradesh police over a YouTube show.
The case was registered based on a complaint filed by BJP leader Ajay Shyam in Shimla for making certain statements in his YouTube program, the Vinod Dua show, which were allegedly of the nature to incite communal hatred and lead to breach of peace and communal disharmony.
Dua had approached the apex court on Saturday asking protection from coercive action, including arrest and sought the top court to take up his matter on an urgent basis, as the case was related to the personal liberty of a person.
What personal liberty is he talking about?
In the name of personal liberty, no citizen has the rights to peddle fake news, cause public nuisance, print defamatory matter, make statements conducive to public mischief and carry out a seditious act.
Yes, personal liberty and free speech are vital to the functioning of a healthy democracy, it is also necessary to remember that democracy does not give absolute rights and liberties.
Rights come with duties. It is the duty of individuals to respect others rights and liberties. It is the duty of citizens to restrain themselves in the exercise of rights not to amount to usurpation of rights of society. When citizens forget this golden thread, anarchy begins to creep into society.
Whether Dua is guilty of abusing the personal liberty laws, it is for the apex court to decide, but one cannot deny his habitual instinct of peddling a series of fake news, inciting communal passions and causing public nuisance.
Consider these –
Anti-Hindu Riots: Dua is facing yet another case registered by Delhi BJP Spokesperson Naveen Kumar who accused him of misreporting Delhi riots and creating public nuisance by false contextual reporting, through his YouTube programme.
The video, which he had uploaded on March 11, depicts facts that never happened. Kumar alleged that Dua had tried to incite communal tension by asking people to step out in large numbers during the riots.
Further, Kumar alleged that Dua misreported the riots and anti-CAA protests, while blaming Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP’s Kapil Mishra for the riots.
Kumar also cited one of the episodes of Dua’s video show, where he spread propaganda against former Congressman Jyotiraditya Scindia joining BJP. Kumar called Dua’s remarks degrading.
However, a Delhi court has granted anticipatory bail to Dua.
George Floyd Riots: Dua is also accused of provoking Indians to launch US-like protests and riots in the country, following the extra-judicial killing of George Floyd by a white police man.
He also indirectly incited the people to make Modi hostage in his prime ministerial estate as the violent protests made US President Donald Trump hostage in his Presidential estate. “We will want to see such people here too. We have 130 crore people after all. America does not even have that much population.” he said.
In his concluding remarks, he had reiterated how people had failed to let go their anger against the mistreatment of Indian minorities.
Ankit Sharma Murder: Dua also is accused of spreading nefarious lies about Intelligence Bureau constable Ankit Sharma’s murder during Delhi riots.
On February 29, on his YouTube, Dua used the malicious Wall Street Journal report to claim that Ankit was murdered by a mob chanting Jai Shri Ram, which was repeatedly denied by the deceased brother Ankur Sharma.
He also had defended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain after Delhi police had filed an FIR against him for murder on the basis of complaints filed by Ankit’s family.
Trump’s 370 Abrogation Statement: Dua is accused of spreading lies and misleading his viewers by questioning whether Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter or an international one, despite multiple clarifications from the central government and external affairs ministry that it continues to be an internal matter, except for PoK which remains a bilateral matter.
He also added Trump’s offer to mediate in the matter, despite the ministry’s clarification on India’s stand on it.
This choice of mentioning only selective information has dangerous repercussions on national security, surely.
Exit Poll Violation: Anchoring a show on Swaraj Express, Dua had aired an exit poll of elections in gross violation of Election Commission regulations. As per ECI rules, exit polls cannot be aired until voting in all the phases have been completed.
Gadkari Row: In December 2018, Dua had maliciously edited a video lying that Nitin Gadkari, a union minister, had spoken out against the Modi government over stalled projects.
The edited video contains a clip of the interview where Gadkari is blaming the government, but does not say which government. Dua goes on to say that this proves growing dissent in the BJP.
However, Gadkari rubbished Dua’s claims by posting the full video of the interview, where he clearly states that the UPA government had not issued any environmental clearances to various infrastructure projects.
These are some of the fake news peddled by Dua. The list is long, however.
SC Refuses Stay On Investigation Against Dua
Coming back on Dua’s sedition case, Dua has got a relief after the apex court granted interim protection from arrest till July 6 to him, but refused to stay the ongoing investigation against him.
The court ordered HP police to give him 24 hours time to join the investigation, which can also be held at Dua’s house.
It also sought a status report on the probe and issued a notice to central and HP governments. It gave two weeks notice for both the governments to file a response.
It also gave two weeks notice for both the governments to file a response.
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