The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Tamil Nadu government not to shift YouTuber Manish Kashyap, arrested for allegedly circulating fake videos of migrant labourers being attacked in the southern state, from the Madurai Central Prison.
A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha issued a notice to Tamil Nadu and Bihar governments on Kashyap’s plea challenging his detention under the National Security Act.
“Apart from the relief sought under Article 32, the petitioner seeks to challenge the detention order under National Security Act (NSA). The petitioner is allowed to amend the plea. Issue notice on amended prayers.
“We direct that the petitioner be not moved from the Central Prison Madurai,” the bench said.
The matter has been posted for hearing on April 28.
Senior advocate Siddhartha Dave, appearing for Kashyap, submitted that NSA has been invoked against Kashyap. The arrested Youtuber also faces six FIRs in Tamil Nadu and three in Bihar.
Expressing surprise, CJI Chandrachud said, “NSA against him? Why this vengeance against this man?” Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said Kashyap made fake videos claiming that migrant labourers from Bihar were getting attacked in Tamil Nadu. “He has got 60 lakh followers. He is a politician. He has contested elections. He is not a journalist,” Sibal said while opposing the transfer of cases to Bihar saying that the FIRs in Tamil Nadu were registered over the interviews he made in the southern state.
The top court had on April 11 issued notice to the Centre, Tamil Nadu and Bihar government on Kashyap’s plea seeking clubbing of the FIRs lodged against him.
Kashyap has already been detained under the National Security Act, Sibal said and sought time to file a reply.
The counsel appearing for Kashyap who has also sought quashing of the FIRs lodged against him over the same alleged cause of action had told the apex court that his client has now been booked under the NSA.
According to Madurai Superintendent of Police Shiva Prasad, Kashyap has been detained under the NSA.
Kashyap had, on April 5, appeared before the Madurai district court that ordered that he be remanded in judicial custody for 15 days, following which he was sent to the Madurai central prison.
In his plea filed in the apex court, the petitioner had sought clubbing of all the FIRs registered against him in Tamil Nadu with those lodged in Bihar.
The petition also said the issue of alleged violence in Tamil Nadu against migrant labourers from Bihar was widely reported in the media and the petitioner, from March 1 onwards, raised his voice against it by making videos on social media platforms and writing content on Twitter.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)