Can social media firms be treated as accused in criminal cases: Madras HC asks state government – The New Indian Express

Chennai News

By Express News Service

MADURAI: Taking note of misuse of social media platforms like YouTube for committing crimes, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Thursday sought a reply from the Tamil Nadu government and the opinion of advocates at large as to whether social media companies can be included as accused or abettor in criminal cases involving social media platforms.

Justice B Pugalendhi also asked if the government had any mechanism through which such misuse could be prevented and appointed advocate KK Ramakrishnan as amicus curiae to assist the court on the issue.

The judge made the observations while hearing a petition filed by police to cancel bail granted to A Duraimurugan Pandiyan ‘Saattai’, a YouTuber, in a case registered against him for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Chief Minister MK Stalin last year. 

Noting that Duraimurugan has been frequently making such remarks in his YouTube channel and other platforms, the judge orally asked Duraimurugan’s counsel whether the YouTuber was making money out of such videos. Duraimurugan had earlier given an undertaking to the court that he would not repeat the offence if granted bail.

The judge pointed out that in several other cases, too, accused have confessed that they learnt about making guns, committing robbery and such other offences from YouTube videos, Holding that social media is being misused, the judge sought reply from authorities regarding steps taken to curb such activities. The court adjourned the case by a week.