Charges dropped against girls for FB post; lawyer not satisfied

The Thane (rural) police on Tuesday filed a closure report in the Palghar court in the case of two local girls, one of whom questioned the shutdown of Mumbai for the cremation of late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Facebook. The police said the complaint was ''false''.

Shaheen Dhada (21) had posted the message, while her friend Rinu Srinivasan (21) had 'liked' it. Both girls were arrested on the complaint of a Shiv Sena activist. Although released on bail a day later, the traumatised girls have deleted their accounts on Facebook and decided to stop using social networking sites.

The police filed a 'C-summary' as per the provisions of Section 169 of the Criminal Procedure Code. However, the girls' lawyer Sudhir Gupta was not satisfied. He said that if the government was honest about the investigation, it should have filed a B-summary report.

The arrest of the girls under Section 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66A of the Information Technology Act for 'outraging religious beliefs' sparked a furore across the country.

The girls' lawyer said a C-summary report meant the complaint was false but was not made maliciously. ''If it is a B-summary report, the police have to become the complainant and register a case against the original complainant, stating that he had complained to the police with malicious intent.

''If the government has admitted that the arrests of Shaheen and Rinu were wrong, they should have shown the honesty of filing a B-Summary complaint under Sections 182 and 211 of the IPC.'' A C-summary report only showed that the government did not want to prosecute the Shiv Sena's Bhushan Sankhe who filed the complaint,'' Gupta said.

''Mere filing of a closure report does not mean that the case is shut. The court should admit it,'' Gupta said, adding that the procedure may take quite some time.