HC quashes 'Sattai' Duraimurugan’s detention under Goondas Act

Court observed that the Constitution of India ensures freedom of speech as a basic right but it has limits.
YouTuber 'Sattai' Durumurugan
YouTuber 'Sattai' Durumurugan

CHENNAI: A division bench of Madras High Court on Tuesday quashed the detention of Tamil nationalist YouTuber 'Sattai' Duraimurugan under the Goondas Act. Tiruvallur district collector ordered to detain Duraimurugan under Goondas Act in January 2022 on charges of spreading rumors in connection with the protest of Foxconn employees in December 2021.

The bench comprising Justice S Vaidyanathan and Justice AD Jagadish Chandra passed the orders on disposing a habeas corpus petition filed by D Madharasi, wife of Duraimurugan - a Naam Tamilar Katchi follower.

The petitioner submitted that her husband was detained under Goondas Act merely for political reasons as he was speaking against the ruling party. She further submitted that her representation to the government for revoking her husband’s detention was not considered.

Therefore, the petitioner prayed for a direction to quash the detention of Duraimurugan under Goondas Act and to release him after producing before the court.

Recording the submissions, the judges quashed the Goondas Act invoked against Duraimurugan citing the delay in considering the representation of the petitioner. While setting aside the detention, the judges observed that the Constitution of India ensures freedom of speech as a basic right but it also has certain limits. “The accused should not exceed his limit and speak accordingly,” the bench observed.

In December 2021, the Foxconn employees staged a protest against certain policies of the company in Sriperumbudur. At the time, 'Sattai' Duraimurugan made a tweet alleging that several women employees died inside the hospital. Therefore, the Tiruvallur police district filed FIRs against him for spreading rumours. Subsequently, the Tiruvallur collector ordered Duraimurugan be detained under the Goondas Act.

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