Madras High Court: Probe cases against Thirumurugan Gandhi
The Madras High Court directed the police to investigate cases booked against the coordinator of May 17 Movement Thirumurugan Gandhi has speeches against the Centre, the State government as well the judiciary and fed out if he was the only face of a larger net.
Justice N. Anand Venkatesh passed the direction while dismissing a batch of petitions registered by the activist to quash some of the cases pending against him at different police stations in State. He accepted with State Public Prosecutor A. Natarajan that the speeches had fissiparous and separatist tendencies and the cases could not be quashed.
“Any leader or a speaker who takes to public platform or express (his/her) through social media, must bear it in mind that the Constitution of India does not merit hate speech in the name of freedom of speech and expression. Hate speeches create discord amongst the various ethnic and religious communities.”
The judge cautioned that “Any speech which disrespects another citizen on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language caste or community is forbidden and becomes punishable under Indian Penal Code and various other laws.” The petitioner said “has a clear tendency to get into a vitriolic diatribe whenever he picks up the microphone. The speeches are pregnant with hate spewed against a particular community which is attacked in a vituperative, opprobrious and slanderous manner.”
The Judge advised that “the petitioner must understand that these hate speeches will in no way help or protect welfare and interest of this state. Spewing venom against a particular community is not going to help the downtrodden come up in society and become a part of the mainstream. On the other hand, it will only sow the seeds of hatred among communities.”
The judge said the free exchange of ideas, dissemination of information, an airing of different opinions and discussion in a good way should be encouraged subject to restraints which would be zealously watched by the courts.