HC seeks mechanism to prevent misuse of social media platforms, like YouTube

Insight Online News

Madurai, Jan 21 : Observing that necessary steps should be taken to curb misuse of social media platforms like YouTube for committing crimes, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has asked why such platforms could not be added as an abettor and accused in cases.

Justice B.Pugalendhi, while noting the fact that videos such as tutorials to make guns and bombs are available in YouTube, said that if a person who is witnessing such videos and commits an offence, then the social media platform is an abettor of the offence.

The Court observed that social media platforms were being used to tarnish the image of some people and abet crimes. The State cannot be a silent spectator, it said.

Stating that necessary steps should be taken to curb such activities, the Court sought response from the State government on the mechanism put in place to prevent such misuse of social media platforms. How can anything be published or uploaded on social media platforms, it asked.

The Court made the remarks while hearing a petition filed by the Thanjavur police, yesterday seeking the cancellation of the bail granted to Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) functionary and YouTuber ‘Saattai’ A.Duraimurugan on the grounds that he had violated the bail conditions.

The Judge appointed advocate K.K.Ramakrishnan as amicus curiae to assist the court in this case and asked other advocates to assist the court with their submissions.

Duraimurugan was arrested by the police for posting a defamatory video in his YouTube channel named ‘Saattai’ using pictures of late Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi and BJP functionary Kushboo in June last year.

The Court granted bail to him in August, after he filed an undertaking affidavit before the court stating he would not release any such video promoting enmity and hurting the sentiments of anyone in the future.

However, he made certain remarks against Chief Minister M.K.Stalin during a protest in Kanyakumari in October, last for which subsequent cases were registered against him. So, the police had filed the present petition seeking to cancel his bail.

During the course of the hearing, the court was informed that the Goondas Act had been invoked against Duraimurugan. The court adjourned the hearing of the case by a week.


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