The Madras high court has quashed an FIR registered against cartoonist G Bala on the ground that there was no criminality involved in the case.
Bala posted a cartoon on his Facebook page to express his anger and grief over the self-immolation of four members of a family on Tirunelveli collectorate, after being troubled by a money lender demanding high interests.
Based on the complaint of the collector, a case was registered against him. He was arrested, and a court released him on bail. Bala filed the present petition before Madurai bench of the high court in 2017, seeking to quash the FIR.
Justice G Ilangovan observed that freedom of thought, expression and speech are the foundations upon which democracy survives, without which there can be no democracy and, therefore, no evolution of the human society.
Hence, the cartoon could be perceived differently by different persons.
So here, the intention of the petitioner is not to defame the authorities, but to expose the gravity of the issue involved,” observed the judge.
There was no intention on the part of the petitioner to defame the Collector, the Court concluded.
“Continuing the investigation against the petitioner will make no purpose. I
There is no criminality is involved in the cartoon and so, the criminal proceedings is liable to be quashed,” the Court ruled..