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'How Many Will Be Jailed Before Polls?': Supreme Court Asks, Giving Relief To YouTuber

The court was hearing a petition filed by YouTuber Sattai Duraimurugan, who was challenging a Madras High Court judgement that cancelled his bail.

Supreme Court of India
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The Supreme Court has restored the bail granted to a YouTuber accused of making derogatory remarks against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, saying that everyone who makes allegations on social media cannot be jailed.

During the hearing, Justice Oka raised a question, addressing Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who represented the State, stating, "If before elections, we start putting behind bars everyone who makes allegations on Youtube, imagine how many will be jailed?"

"We do not think that by protesting and expressing views he can be said to have misused his liberty," the court said.

The court was hearing a petition filed by YouTuber Sattai Duraimurugan, who was challenging a Madras High Court judgement that cancelled his bail, noting that within a few days of giving an undertaking before the court, he made derogatory remarks against the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

The Supreme Court took note of the FIR filed against the YouTuber, citing his participation in a protest opposing the demolition of the Babri Masjid, as reported by India Today. It was said that he was speaking furiously and demanding the release of some of the detained individuals.

"We don't think that by protesting and by expressing his views, it can be said that the appellant has misused the liberty granted to him. Even otherwise, we are of the view that the grounds mentioned in the impugned order cannot constitute grounds for cancellation of bail," the bench noted in its order.

Duraimurugan was detained by Tamil Nadu Police in 2021 for insulting MK Stalin and others on YouTube. At first, the Madras High Court gave him bail with the condition to refrain from making derogatory comments. However, in June 2022, the bail was revoked in response to a state government petition, citing Duraimurugan's continued derogatory remarks despite his promise.

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