India

Tweet arrest sparks protest and a fightback

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, Chennai / New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Nov 02, 2012 02:39 IST

A businessman’s arrest in Puducherry on charges he defamed Congress’ Karti Chidambaram on Twitter, triggered protests from activists who say it hurts freedom of speech.

Ravi Srinivasan has since been released on bail and plans to contest his arrest and 15-day remand.

Karti is son of finance minister P Chidambaram. “I have a right to seek constitutional/legal remedies over defamatory/scurrilous tweets,” he tweeted on Wednesday.

Nirmal Sanjeevi Roy, Karti’s lawyer, told a TV channel the tweets comparing Karti with Robert Vadra violated section 66A of the IT Act that says offensive information spread through a computer resource to cause insult can be prosecuted.

“What I tweeted is already in public domain,” Srinivasan, who has only 16 followers on Twitter, said. “Insult from a tweet from a person who just has a handful of subscribers cannot be the same as somebody widely followed,” said Sunil Abraham of Centre for Internet and Society.

 

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