Justice GR Swaminathan of the court’s Madurai bench noted that offences mentioned in the FIR were not made out in the tweet.
The Madras high court on Tuesday quashed an FIR registered by the Madurai Police against a YouTuber, who was arrested on December 9 after he posted a ‘controversial’ tweet over the Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter crash, which took place near Coonoor in the state’s Nilgiris district the day before.
Justice GR Swaminathan of the high court’s Madurai bench quashed the FIR noting that the offences mentioned in it were not made in out in the tweet. The city police had booked the YouTuber, Maridhas, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including those related to ‘promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence.’
Maridhas, from his twitter handle @MaridhasAnswers, had tweeted in Tamil that ‘Tamil Nadu is becoming another Kashmir under the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).’ Though he subsequently deleted the tweet, a DMK functionary lodged a complaint against him, resulting in his arrest.
The December 8 crash resulted in the demise of 13 out of 14 people on board the chopper, including General Bipin Rawat, the country’s first and incumbent chief of defence staff (CDS) and his spouse Madhulika Rawat. The lone survivor, IAF’s Group Captain Varun Singh, is currently hospitalised in a military hospital in Bengaluru, where is condition is reported to be ‘critical.’
In the wake of General Rawat’s death, arrests have been made across several states over ‘derogatory’ social media posts against him.
The IAF has constituted a tri-service Court of Inquiry (CoI) to investigate the crash.
(With PTI inputs)