Detention of `video pirate' under Goondas Act upheld

Court rejects habeas corpus plea, says actions affect public order

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Ruling that video piracy had the potential to threaten public order, the Madras High Court has upheld the detention of a "video pirate" under the Goondas Act.

The Bench, comprising Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice A.R. Ramalingam, concurred with the views of Government Advocate Abudukumar Rajarathinam and said video piracy was a "dragon" threatening the entire film world. An unchecked spread of the menace would deprive the producers of their rightful profit, which would ultimately affect the State Government's revenue.

If the trend continues even censored portions of obscene shots, songs and words too may go unchecked, the Bench said. Pointing out that Siva had two adverse cases against him already, it said the Commissioner of Police, Greater Chennai, was well within his power in declaring the petitioner as a video pirate under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Forest Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders, Slum Grabbers and Video Pirates Act 1982.

Citing the materials placed by the Government Advocate, the Judges said, "we are satisfied that there was no delay and Siva's representations were duly considered and rejected without any loss of time. We are satisfied that there is no lacuna on the part of the Government in considering the representations."

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