KERALA: Yesterday, Kerala High Court has rejected the bail application of a Youtuber charged with insulting a woman who belongs to the Schedule Tribe through his social media handles.
Youtuber published an interview video of a woman with an interview. He was accused that he had intentionally telecasted the video to humiliate the woman. The bench headed by Sessions Judge Honey M. Varghese dismissed the bail application and held that granting bail at this stage would send a wrong message to society, particularly since he had reiterated his stand against the woman despite having been denied bail by the High Court.
Though the videos were withdrawn now, the act on the side of the petitioner even after the dismissal of Bail Application by the Hon’ble High Court shows that the petitioner telecasted the video intentionally to humiliate and insult the defacto complainant. The recovery is effected in this case. The petitioner was arrested on 29/07/2022 and 15 days are over now. But considering the present scenario of circulating and telecasting news in social media and other platforms humiliating and insulting the privacy of individuals, I hold that granting bail at this stage is too early and will give a wrong message to society.”
The victim filed a complaint against the accused who is working as an employee under journalist T.P Nandakumar on his online channel. She accused Youtuber that verbally abusing her and forcing her to make a morphed video of a lady minister.
Provoked by the arrest of a friend and fellow media person, the petitioner telecasted an interview of the woman’s husband and father-in-law on his channel. The interview which aired through the petitioner’s online media was uploaded on YouTube and widely circulated through Facebook as well.
The petitioner is accused of committing offenses punishable under sections 354A(1)(iv), 509, 294(b) of IPC, Sections 66E and 67A of the Information Technology Act, and Sections 3(1)(r), 3(1)(s) and 3(1)(w)(ii) of the SC/ST Act.
Main Counsel of Petitioner Advocate Thomas J.Anakkallunka argued that all the controversial videos had already been deleted from the online channel and that this was conceded by the defacto complainant as well. The petitioner further argued that this may be taken as a positive sign on his part and prayed that bail is granted on that ground. The Sessions Court agreed that the act of withdrawal was definitely a positive gesture.
Public Prosecutor Manoj G.Krishnan vehemently opposed the bail application and submitted that even at the time of arrest of the petitioner herein he humiliated the defacto complainant.
Therefore, Kerala High Court held that even though the videos had been deleted from the channel but it was held that the pursuant acts of the petitioner establish that he telecast the video intentionally to humiliate and insult the defacto complainant.
Therefore, the Court rejected a bail application.
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