Hate crime proceedings against Patricia Mukhim quashed

SC agrees with Editor of Shillong Times that her social media post was only an expression of truth

The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed hate crime proceedings initiated against Padma Shri awardee and senior journalist Patricia Mukhim for a Facebook post.

A Bench led by Justice L. Nageswara Rao agreed with Ms. Mukhim, Editor of Shillong Times, that her social media post was only an expression of truth in the face of persecution.

The decision came in Ms. Mukhim’s appeal against the Meghalaya High Court’s refusal to quash the proceedings against her under Sections 153a (hate), 500 (defamation) and 505(c) (incite a community or caste to commit an offence against another). The offences are non-bailable.

Ms. Mukhim, represented by advocates Vrinda Grover, Soutik Banerjee and Prasanna S., said her Facebook post had only alerted the authorities to enforce the law against the perpetrators of a brutal attack against six non-tribal boys in the State.

“A plain reading of the petitioner’s Facebook post makes it clear that the intent and purpose of this post is to appeal for impartial enforcement of rule of law; equal treatment before the law of all citizens; condemnation of targeted violence against members of a minority group; and end to impunity for violence,” Ms. Mukhim had argued.

She said her effort to ensure peace and harmony between communities and groups in the State has led to her, in turn, being accused of fostering hate.

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