A 45-year-old has been sentenced for 3 year jail term over the tweet made on twitter, but wondering if any such thing could happen in developing country like India ? Yes, if the tweet is pointing to any ruling party politician or their son,daughter etc. over corruption.
Ravi Srinivasan (@ravi_the_indian) who lives in Pondicherry, India tweeted about Karti Chidambaram who is son of P.Chidambaram, Finance Minister of India. Ironically and surprisingly as well when the tweet was made by Srinivasan, he had just 16 followers, although after the controversy in less than a day the followers number grew by more than 1000 folds to become 2000 followers and rising.
|Profile of Ravi Srinivasan|
|Profile of Karti Chidambaram|
More surprisingly, the arrest of man was made by just an ’email’ sent by Karti Chidambaram to Pondicherry police which charged Ravi Srinivasan under Section 66-A of the Information Technology Act, 2008. As an Indian I had experience that I filed a complaint for serial cheque bouncing by personally visiting police offices but nothing ever happened, but here in this case just an ‘Email’ did the ‘trick’ and thats too within 24 hours juts because VIP’s son is involved in same.
Karti on other hand clarified via tweet – “Free speech is subject to reasonable restrictions. I have a right to seek constitutional/legal remedies over defamatory/scurrilous tweets”
Under section 66-A its stated “Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc..- Any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device.”. An explanation of this section in amendment gazzete provided by Ministry of Communications & IT, Gov. of India described as –
Explanation: For the purposes of this section, terms “Electronic mail” and “Electronic Mail Message” means a message or information created or transmitted or received on a computer, computer system, computer resource or communication device including attachments in text, image, audio, video and any other electronic record, which may be transmitted with the message.
However, in a literal terms publishing on Twitter is not “sending a message” as mentioned in Section 66A. Twitter should be covered under section 67, “publishing of information”. But loose interpretation is the privilege of the powerful stated Prashant K Roy – CIOL