Maharashtra govt to pay Rs.50,000 to two girls arrested for Facebook post …

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The National Human Right Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday issued a notice to the Maharashtra government ordering it to pay up Rs.50,000 each to two girls who were arrested in 2012 for posting a Facebook comment critical of a shutdown called over Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray’s funeral.

Calling the arrest as illegal, the NHRC directed the state government to file a compliance report along with proofs of payment within four weeks or face coercive process.

“The National Human Rights Commission has reiterated its recommendations in yet another reminder that the Government of Maharashtra pay Rs.50,000 each to the two girls, who were illegally detained for more than 10 days by the police following a Facebook post after the death of Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray.

The Commission has held that their detention was in violation of freedom of speech and expression of views guaranteed in the Constitution of India,” the notice read.

“Having received no response to its notice and reminders to show cause why monetary relief should not be paid to the victims of human rights violation, the Commission, in its latest direction, has asked the Chief Secretary of the State to submit the compliance report along with the proof of payment within four weeks failing which, it may be constrained to take recourse to coercive process under Section 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993,” it added.

Two girls were arrested in November 2012 over their Facebook post questioning the shutdown in Thane for Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray’s funeral. The girls spent 10 days in jail before being released on bail by the court. The charges were dropped a month later after the police filed a closure report.

The Commission had taken suo motu cognizance of the issue.

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