Madurai: The Madras High Court has noted that hate speech has widely affected freedom of speech and expression in recent times and has led to social unrest and public disorder. Social networks have become the most common tool for spreading hate speech. Justice K Murali Shankar noted that while freedom of speech and expression is an internationally recognized right, it is not considered absolute when it conflicts with other rights and protections.
The judge noted that Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution provides for the right to freedom of speech and expression. However, Article 19(2) provides for reasonable limitations of this freedom in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign nations, public order, public morals or decency or in connection with contempt of court, or libel. or incitement to a crime.
The court made this remark while hearing the petitions of YouTube employee and Naam Tamilar Katchi, ‘Sattai’ A Duraimurugan, requesting his release on bail in two cases registered against him by Kanyakumari Police and Thanjavur District. On October 9, he made derogatory remarks in a YouTube channel against Prime Minister MK Stalin and the late CMM Karunanidhi. A case has been registered by the cybercrime police in Thanjavur district. He participated in a protest against the exploitation of natural resources in Kanyakumari on October 10, and had made derogatory remarks against Stalin. A case has been registered in this regard by the Thokkalay Police. Subsequently, he was arrested and placed in judicial custody.
The petitioner had made an sworn undertaking that he would not make any derogatory remarks against anyone or any personal remarks against future political leaders. However, the additional prosecutor said that despite making a written pledge to the High Commissioner in August, when he was released on bail in another case for posting an insulting video on his channel, he has been implicated in two other similar crimes and is currently seeking bail. .
Taking into account the affidavit provided and considering the fact that the petitioner was facing health problems, Judge Murali Shankar released him on bail and ordered him to pay Rs 25,000 per case to the Prime Minister’s Public Relief Fund.
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