Madurai: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has granted bail to YouTuber and Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) functionary ‘Sattai’ A.Duraimurugan in two cases registered against him for making derogatory remarks against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K.Stalin and former DMK patriarch M.Karunanidhi.
When the petition came up for hearing, Justice K.Murali Shankar granted bail on the condition that the YouTuber should deposit Rs 50,000 to the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund.
The Judge also directed him not to make any further derogative remarks through any medium. Duraimurugan, who was running a YouTube channel ‘Saattai,’ was booked under IPC secs 143, 153, 153A, 504, 505 (1)(b), 505(2), 506 (i) and 269 read with Section 3 of Epidemic Diseases and Section 67 of Information Technology Act for his inflammatory speech during a protest on November 10 at Thucklay in Kanyakumari district, in violation of the COVID-19 norms, besides making derogatory remarks against Stalin and Karunanidhi.
The YouTuber along with his bail petition had filed an undertaking that he would not make any derogatory remarks against any person in future.
The Judge observed that social networking had become the most ordinary tool for spreading hate speech, which has affected freedom of speech and expression widely in recent times and has given rise to social unrest and public disturbances.
The Judge said Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution provides the right to freedom of speech and expression.
However, Article 19 (2) of the Constitution also provides for the reasonable restrictions against freedom of speech in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of the country, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence, he added.