HC directs police to file account details of YouTuber Karthik

The petitioner prayed for a direction to quash all the case proceedings arising out of the FIRs filed against him as well as the case proceedings pending before the trial court.
HC directs police to file account details of YouTuber Karthik
Karthik GopinathFile photo

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the State police to file the bank account and transaction details of the right-wing YouTuber Karthik Gopinath who was arrested by the Avadi city crime branch, on charges of collecting and misappropriating funds to the tune of Rs.33.28 lakh under the guise of renovating a Madura Kaliyamman temple in Siruvachur, Perambalur district.

Justice N Sathish Kumar passed the direction on hearing the petition preferred by Karthik Gopinath. The petitioner prayed for a direction to quash all the case proceedings arising out of the FIRs filed against him as well as the case proceedings pending before the trial court.

When the case was taken for hearing, A Gokulakrishnan, Additional Public Prosecutor (APP), submitted that the petitioner had illegally collected money from various people and misappropriated the same by posting the photos showing the dilapidated state of the temple on social media.

“As police suspect the role of other people in the case, custodial interrogation of the accused is necessary. Apart from the usage of the crowdfunding app, the personal accounts of the accused also need to be scrutinized. He has collected the fund by inducing the emotional state of people and devotees. The bank balance of the accused was also seen increasing after he started collecting money through the app, ” the APP submitted.

On recording the submissions, the judge directed the police to submit the details of the accused’s bank accounts on June 13.

The petitioner submitted that the accused had already submitted all the documents to the assistant commissioner of police in a complaint lodged by one Piyush Manush. However, the HR&CE’s executive officer of the Madurakaliyamman temple had lodged another complaint due to political pressure.

“The petitioner cannot take any money from the funding app. As a devotee, he collected money from others for renovating the temple. He did not cheat anyone including the complainants. If the HR&CE wants to surrender the collected money, he is ready to do that. However, the EO had lodged a police complaint. Also, FIRs filed under sections 409, 420 of IPC, and 66D of IT Act are not sustainable and liable to be set aside, ” the petitioner’s counsel V Ragavachari argued.

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