Court cannot teach ethics to people: Madras High Court quashes criminal defamation case for cartoon published on Facebook

The court cannot teach people morality, as the Madras Supreme Court recently discovered when it dismissed a criminal defamation case (Balamurugan vs. State) against people who posted cartoons on its Facebook page.

“But the court cannot teach people morality (sic), society must develop and follow moral standards,” the court emphasized. Balamurugan posted a cartoon of the self-immolation incident outside a collector’s office in a district in Tirunelveli in 2017 on his personal Facebook page, showing a burning corpse of a child with three files, the collector area.

The police chief and the prime minister of Tamil Nadu saw the same thing, their private parts were covered with money.

Regional collectors are more willing to appeal Balamurugan’s comments. On this basis, criminal cases are punishable under Article 501 (criminal defamation) of the Indian Penal Code and Article 67 (publishing or disseminating obscene materials) of the Information Act of 2000. ).
Electronic form).

The defendant is more willing to apply to the National High Court to revoke the First Information Report (FIR). The court pointed out that the question to be examined is “where should the basic rights of freedom of thought and speech begin and where should they end.””In a democratic country, freedom of thought, speech, and speech is the foundation of democracy.

Without democracy, there will be no democracy, and there will be no development of human society,” the court said. The complainant wishes to express his anger, pain and criticism that neither the administration nor the police have the ability to curb creditors charging excessively high interest rates.

“The loaner’s excessive interest requirements caused the lives of three people at the point of collection. What the applicant wanted to explain and attract attention was not pain, criticism, or social interest, but the way of expression that caused controversy.”

The order read: ” As a result, the officials of the district police chief have caused controversy.” The court held that some people may think the cartoons are exaggerated or obscene, and some people think that this expresses the authorities’ indifference to protecting citizens’ lives, so different people may have different views on the cartoons.

Although the cartoon may humiliate the payee, the applicant tried to reflect the authorities’ position on creditors’ excessive demand for interest.The court concluded that the plaintiff had no intention of slandering the collector.

“It does not make sense to continue investigating the petitioner. In my opinion, there is no crime in the cartoon, which means that the criminal case can be dropped,” the court ruled.

The prosecutor S. Vanchinatan appeared before the petitioner, and the prosecutor M. Ganesan appeared before the national authorities.

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