16 July 2014
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday asked the Maharashtra government to pay Rs. 50,000 each to two girls, who, were illegally detained by the police following a facebook post after the death of Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray.
The Commission had held that their detention was in violation of freedom of speech and expression of views guaranteed in the Constitution.
Having received no response to its notice and reminders to show cause why monetary relief should not be paid to the victims, NHRC has asked the Maharashtra chief secretary to submit a compliance report along with proof of payment within four weeks and warned that it will take coercive action if the compensation was not paid in time.
In November 2012, NHRC had taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that two girls were arrested after they made a comment on social networking site Facebook on the shutdown in the city on Thackeray’s demise.
“Bandhs had already been declared as illegal by the court. The comment only indicated that the bandh was not necessary as a mark of respect to the departed leader and that the city was shut down due to fear and not due to respect,” NHRC remarked.
“Because of the over reaction of the police, these two young women were arrested for which the state is prima facie responsible,” it added.