Industrialist arrested for tweet that ‘offended’ Chidambaram’s son
PUDUCHERRY: An industrialist was arrested on Tuesday on charges of posting “offensive remarks” on Union finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram on micro-blogging site Twitter.
S Ravi, 46, who runs a packaging unit at Sederapet industrial estate in Puducherry, in a tweet on October 19 alleged that Karti Chidambaram had “amassed” more wealth than Robert Vadra, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law.
In another tweet on the same day, he declared that “as a Tamilian” he felt “bad to have sent P Chidambaram to national politics.” Ravi has been actively participating in events organized by the India Against Corruption (IAC) in Puducherry.
Puducherry police said Karti Chidambaram lodged a complaint and Ravi was booked under Section 66 (1) (hacking with computer system) of the Information Technology Act. The section can be used against a person who, with the intent to causing wrongful loss or damage to the public or any person, destroys or deletes or alters any information residing in a computer resource or diminishes its value or utility or affects it injuriously by any means.
Police called Ravi for questioning on Tuesday morning and arrested him subsequently. He was produced before chief judicial magistrate Venkatakrishnan, who granted him bail. If convicted, the industrialist faces imprisonment up to three years or a fine up to Rs 2 lakh or both.
Pondy CAN (Citizen Action Network) president Probir Banerjee termed the police action as ‘undemocratic’. Pondy CAN is one of the several forums that organize IAC activities in the Union territory. “The police action is completely unacceptable. Are we living in a goonda raj? Of late anyone talking about the nexus between the political class and corporates is targeted,” Banerjee said.
Former Madras high court judge David Annoussamy pointed out that several people who tweet would have to be arrested if the same yardstick was applied to all cases. “It is common for people to file a defamation suit against those making offensive remarks. The arrest will be made based on the outcome of the defamation suit,” he said.