‘But NSA, why this vengeance against this man’, SC on use of tough law against YouTuber

Insight Online News

New Delhi, April 21 : The Supreme Court asked the Tamil Nadu government not to move YouTuber Manish Kashyap from Madurai jail to another prison against the backdrop of multiple FIRs in the state. Kashyap was arrested for allegedly circulating fake videos of migrant labourers being attacked in the southern state.

The top court also asked the Tamil Nadu government to justify invocation of the National Security Act (NSA) against Kashyap in the matter.

Senior advocate Siddhartha Dave, representing Kashyap, submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising justice P.S. Narasimha that NSA has been invoked against his client and pointed that there are six FIRs in Tamil Nadu and three in Bihar, registered against Kashyap.

The Chief Justice wondered why the state has invoked NSA against Kashyap in the matter, and asked senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the Tamil Nadu government, “Mr Sibal, what is this NSA?……But NSA?….Why this vengeance against this man?” Sibal said he made fake videos claiming that migrant labourers from Bihar were getting attacked in Tamil Nadu. The bench said it is inclined to transfer FIRs registered against the petitioner in Tamil Nadu to Bihar.

Opposing transfer of FIRs, Sibal said Kashyap has got 60 lakh followers and he is a politician, and not a journalist, and added that he has contested elections. He said Kashyap had done interviews in the southern state, while justifying registration of FIRs in Tamil Nadu.

The Bihar government counsel resisted the transferring of Tamil Nadu FIRs to Bihar and argued that they are different offences and Kashyap is a “habitual offender”.

The top court allowed petitioner’s counsel to amend the plea to challenge his detention under NSA, and also issued notice to Tamil Nadu and Bihar governments.

The bench said, “Apart from the relief sought under Article 32, the petitioner seeks to challenge the detention order under NSA. The petitioner is allowed to amend the plea. Issue notice on amended prayers…” Dave urged the court to issue a direction that his client should not be moved out from Madurai jail.

The top court also asked the Tamil Nadu government not to move him from the prison in Madurai, and scheduled the matter for further hearing on April 28.

On April 11, the top court had issued notice to the Centre, Tamil Nadu and Bihar government on Kashyap’s plea seeking clubbing of the FIRs lodged against him.

Sibal had said it is not a simple matter and Kashyap has already been detained under the National Security Act and sought time to file a reply in the matter.

Earlier this month, Kashyap had appeared before the Madurai district court, which remanded him to judicial custody for 15 days. Kashyap and others are facing cases for allegedly circulating fake videos of migrant workers being attacked in Tamil Nadu.

Kashyap sought clubbing of all the FIRs registered against him in Tamil Nadu with those lodged in Bihar.


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