SC grants bail to YouTuber, says "How many will be jailed before elections?"  - Vibes Of India

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SC grants bail to YouTuber, says “How many will be jailed before elections?” 

| Updated: April 9, 2024 15:18

The Supreme Court on Monday quashed the Madras High Court’s decision to cancel bail granted to a YouTuber, ‘Sattai’ Durai Murugan, who was accused of making derogatory remarks against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin. 

“If before elections, we start putting behind bars everyone who makes allegations on YouTube, imagine how many will be jailed,” a bench of Justices A S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan said. 

Murugan, who was arrested in 2021, was granted bail by a single-judge bench of the Madras HC. But on June 7, 2022, the HC Division Bench cancelled his bail after the state government filed a plea accusing him of flouting an undertaking given to court on refraining from making derogatory comments. 

Murugan then approached the Supreme Court, which, on July 25, 2022, ordered that the bail granted to him by the HC single-judge bench should continue until further orders. 

On Monday, the bench noted that the interim bail had continued since then and said: “All the same, we do not find grounds to cancel bail. We thus quash the High Court order cancelling bail and restore the earlier order granting bail.” 

Opposing Murugan’s plea, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the state government, drew the court’s attention to two FIRs registered against him in December 2022 and March 2023. 

The bench noted that these pertained to Murugan attending a protest against the Babri Masjid demolition, and seeking release of certain prisoners. The SC did not agree with the state’s contention that these were offences serious enough to cancel his bail. 

 “We don’t think that by protesting and by expressing his views, it can be said that the appellant has misused the liberty granted to him. Even otherwise, we are of the view that the grounds mentioned in the impugned order cannot constitute grounds for cancellation of bail,” it said. 

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