A private complaint lodged by DMK leader SRS Umari Shankar of Thoothukudi had said that Maridhas had insulted and tarnished the reputation of DMK and his family members through a video.

YouTuber Maridhas: Madras HC quashes another case against YouTuber Maridhas File Photo
news Court Thursday, February 10, 2022 - 13:34

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday, February 10, quashed a private complaint against YouTuber Maridhas, who was charged for uploading a video pertaining to the anti-CAA protests. Justice GR Swaminathan of the Madras High Court quashed the private complaint against Maridhas on the file of Judicial Magistrate 111, Thoothukudi. The private complaint was lodged by DMK leader SRS Umari Shankar of Thoothukudi, who said that Maridhas had insulted and tarnished the reputation of DMK and his family members through the video.

The advocate representing Maridhas, however, contended that the allegation was totally false and that the case was deliberately foisted against him. Maridhas through his advocate said that the case was fabricated as he was active and vocal on YouTube about social issues. Maridhas said that the present case against him was one such example to stifle his voice.

Earlier on December 23, the Madras High Court had quashed an FIR against Maridhas registered by the Mettupalayam police in 2020 for a video of his which linked the Tablighi Jamaat meeting in Delhi for the spread of COVID-19. The FIR was registered based on a complaint by Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam leader Mohammed Khader Meeran.  The same judge, Justice Swaminathan, had said at the time that the incident came under sharp criticism in the entire media during the early days of the pandemic and that hence, a slightly exaggerated comment ‘can be expected.’

A few days prior to that on December 14, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court quashed another FIR against Maridhas, after he was arrested for a tweet alleging that Tamil Nadu was “turning into another Kashmir under DMK rule." The tweet, which was eventually deleted, was posted a day after the death of Chief of Defense staff Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others in a helicopter crash in Coonoor. 

In this instance, Justice Swaminathan said that YouTubers have the same rights accorded to journalists and media under the Constitution and they also have the freedom of speech and expression. The judge had also noted that Maridhas had 'probably realised his mistake' and had deleted the tweet. Citing author Orhan Pamuk's differentiation between a 'naive and a sentimental novelist’, the judge had said that Maridhas's post could be classified as 'naive writing'

Topic tags,
Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.