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Friday, June 2, 2023

HC terms FIR on YouTuber Maridhas illegal; Judge faces casteist abuse for quashing the case

The Madurai bench of Madras High Court quashed the case against Tamil YouTuber Maridhas who was arrested by the DMK government. While tweeting about the Coonoor chopper crash, Maridhas had exposed Dravidianist handles with anti-Bharat and separatist mindset. He was arrested on sedition charges but the court found no merit in the charges.

Maridhas had tweeted asking “Is TN turning into another Kashmir under the DMK regime?” and said that huge conspiracies can be plotted against the nation when there is freedom to assemble a group of people that dares to commit treachery. He had tweeted it in reference to posts mocking and celebrating CDS Bipin Rawat’s death put out by DMK sympathizers. 

The former tweet was deleted but DMK IT wing lodged a complaint against Maridhas accusing him of sedition. However judge GR Swaminathan who heard the case saw no merit in the charges and quashed the case. Upholding Maridhas’ Freedom of Speech and Expression, the judge said any person has the same right as journalists to comment on questions of public importance. In fact th judge pointed out a “Freudian slip” where the complainants mentioned “as a result of the offending tweet, there will be hatred and enmity between the DMK party men and separatists”.

As he went against their wishes, DMK and DK supporters started abusing the judge calling him “Nooliban” (on the lines of Taliban, Nool means thread in Tamil and is used by Dravidianists for janeu), “Sanghi Dog” and Brahmin community alleging they dominate judiciary. They even tried to besmirch the judge’s name by circulating an invitation to a BJP party event where his name is mentioned. An influential Dravidianist account tweeted that courts have become bhajan mutts and called Brahmin judges as street thugs. Judge GR Swaminathan had also granted bail to Tablighi jamaat members who were booked for spreading Covid-19 by intentionally hiding information and gathering in large numbers.

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