Court grants bail to YouTuber ‘Sattai’ Duraimurugan

A view of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court   | Photo Credit: ASHOK R

Hate speech has affected freedom of speech and expression widely in recent times, and has given rise to social unrest and public disturbance, observed the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court while granting bail to YouTuber ‘Sattai’ Duraimurugan.

Justice K. Murali Shankar observed that social networking had become the most ordinary tool for spreading hate speech. “The freedom of speech and expression is an internationally recognised right. However, freedom of speech is not regarded as absolute, when the same conflicts with other rights and protections.”

Article19 (1) (a) of the Indian 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 India, 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 said.

Article 19 (3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights contemplates that the right of freedom of speech can be regulated in order to honour the rights of others and in the interest of public order, public health or morals. Article 10 (2) of the European Convention on Human Rights provides reasonable duties and restrictions during the exercise of one’s fundamental right to free speech, the judge observed.

The court was hearing two bail petitions filed by YouTuber ‘Sattai’ Duraimurugan. He was booked for making derogatory remarks against former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and the present Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on a YouTube channel and for passing certain remarks on Mr. Stalin at a demonstration held in Thuckalay in Kanniyakumari district.

The petitioner filed an undertaking affidavit stating that he would not make any derogatory remarks against any person in the future. Considering the affidavit and taking into account the fact that he had certain health issues, the court granted him bail with conditions. He was directed to deposit a sum of Rs.50,000 to the credit of the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 1:29:27 PM |

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