February 23, 2024
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Police Station Not A Prohibited Place Under Official Secrets Act: Court

According to the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur bench, filming inside a police station cannot be illegal because it is not listed as a restricted location under the Official Secrets Act. The Official Secrets Act (OSA) lawsuit against Ravindra Upadhyay was dismissed in July of this year by a division bench of Justices Manish Pitale and Valmiki Menezes for filming a video inside a police station in March 2018.

The bench noted that a police station is not clearly listed as a banned place in the Act when it alluded to section 3 and section 2(8) of the OSA regarding eavesdropping at prohibited places.

“The definition of ‘prohibited place’ as defined in section 2(8) of the Official Secrets Act is relevant. It is an exhaustive definition, which does not specifically include a police station as one of the places or establishments, which could be included in the definition ‘prohibited place’,” the court said in its order.

This Court believes that none of the elements of the claimed offence are made out against the applicant in light of the aforementioned requirements, it continued.The complaint states that Mr. Upadyay and his wife were at the Wardha police station in relation to a disagreement he had with his neighbour.

Although Mr. Upadhyay had complained about the neighbour, a cross-complaint had also been made against the neighbour. At the moment, the police became aware that Mr. Upadhyay was using his mobile device to record a video of the conversation happening inside the police station.

The FIR and subsequent charge sheet against Mr. Upadhyay in the case were both overturned by the court.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

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