Some YouTube Channels Becoming a Menace to Society, says Madras HC in oral Observation

The Madras High Court on Thursday orally observed that some YouTube channels were becoming a “menace” to society by featuring derogatory content just to increase their subscriptions and it was high time that the government reined them in.

A bench of Justice K. Kumaresh Babu made the oral observation while hearing a bail petition filed by G. Felix Gerald of the RedPix YouTube channel, who was booked along with fellow YouTuber, Savukku Shankar, under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Woman Act, 1988.

Additional Public Prosecutor E. Raj Thilak told the court that the Coimbatore cybercrime cell had registered a case against Gerald and Shankar after the petitioner interviewed the latter and had probably facilitated him to make derogatory statements against women police personnel, thereby lowering the morale of the entire police force.

The cybercrime cell arrested Shankar, who had been arrayed as the first accused, on May 4.

The APP told the court that Gerald had been summoned for an inquiry, but had not appeared before the investigating officer.

As the petitioner’s counsel stated that his client had been a journalist for the last 25 years, the judge said that it was Gerald who should have been arrayed as the first accused in the case because it was he who had prompted the interviewee to make derogatory statements against women.

“Is this what you even call an interview?” Justice Kumaresh Babu asked, noting that Gerald would have posed the question knowing well that the interviewee would answer it in a particular way.

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The judge also said that Gerald would have let Shankar make derogatory statements against women and encouraged it.

The court asked the APP whether the petitioner should be asked to appear before the investigating officer on the condition that no coercive steps would be taken against him, but the APP responded that this would be like providing anticipatory bail indirectly.

Following this, the judge adjourned the hearing on the bail plea by a week.

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