TRUTH IS A GOOD DEFENCE AGAINST SLANDER, BUT IF YOUR BLOGGING IS GOING TO ENRAGE SOMEONE SOMEWHERE IN THIS COUNTRY, FOR ANY REASON, HE COULD GET AN FIR REGISTERED AND THE MAGISTRATE IN-CHARGE OF THE POLICE LIMITS WITHIN WHICH THE FIR WAS REGISTERED COULD PULL YOU UP! SO MUCH FOR YOUR RIGHTS!!!
A writ filed by a person from Kerala, named Ajith D, for quashing the FIR registered against him in Thane, in the state of Maharashtra by a Shiva Sainik, has not been allowed by the Supreme Court. Well, so much is the gist, of what i’ve understood, of what was published in today’s (24/02/2009) TOI (p.10 Bangalore Edition titled BLOG IS NO PRIVATE DOMAIN).
The Writ Petitioner is stated to be a member of the social networking site- ORKUT. In the said site he is said to have published ideas that made the police invoke Sections 295A and 506 (?) of the Indian Penal Code.
The grounds that he had pleaded for quashing the FIR were:-
1. The contents of the blog were for the group and not for outsiders, &
2. that he feared his life, if he were to be compelled to appear in Thane courts.
According to me the first ground is not a valid ground, as in a social networking site anyone could easily have access and stating slanderous things there are equally damaging. Therefore the writer of the blog should be held accountable.
So far as the second reason is concerned, it is a valid ground. The boy, just 19 years, who in the exuberance of his youth, having made statements damaging to someone, should not be thrown into a terrain, where he could become an easy target. Let us recall that , not so long ago, Mr.M.Karunanidhi, the CM of Tamil Nadu made a statement that was CONTRARY TO THE GENERAL BELIEF IN WHICH LORD RAMA, WAS THOUGHT OF. MK WENT SO FAR AS TO SAY THAT RAMA WAS A PERSON GIVEN TO LIQUOR.
It is possible, that a person, in any other part of the country, could have been offended by such statements. They could have filed FIRs against him (the law of precedent states “however incredible the person’s belief might be regarding his God, ridiculing that belief would invite the provisions of 153A of IPC”) and dragged him to the courts in different states. They tried. But he has at his beck and call, the best Lawyers in the country, that he could get an FIR either transferred to another court of convenient location, or get it quashed. But what could a student in indigent circumstances do to counter such a predicament?
Smt. Renuka Choudury, is said to have stated demeaning things against the Mangaloreans and somebody is offended in Mangalore and she is to appear there. She being from a National Party, and also by virtue of having been a person with political standing (any publicity is good!), may not be unduly concerned in facing such court cases even outside her home state. But in the case of Ajith,D it is truly a case of throwing the lamb to the wolves!
I suppose, the Supreme Court should have allayed his fears (having come to the Supreme Court, as an Individual pitted against an organization) by directing the DGP, MH to provide him necessary security while within the state, for attending the court case.
ARE WE TO RESTRAIN OUR INFERENCES AND IMPUTATIONS, SINCE OUR POCKETS ARE either HOLLOW or SHALLOW? MAY BE, THE ANSWER IS YES.
IN INDIA IT IS BETTER TO BE WISE, THAN TO BE TRUTHFUL.
PROPAGATED TRUTHS COULD CAUSE RIOTS, THEREFORE LET US KEEP THE OFFENDING TRUTHS FROM THE ARROGANT & IGNORANT MASSES AND MAINTAIN OUTER TRANQUILITY!