The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Union of India, along with the States of Bihar and Tamil Nadu, on a petition filed by Youtuber Manish Kashyap seeking consolidation of First Information Reports (FIR) registered against him in the two States for allegedly sharing fake news about migrant workers in Tamil Nadu.
The Bench of Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Sanjay Karol directed the Centre and the two States to file their responses within a week.
The top court of the country then listed the matter for further hearing on April 21.
The petition filed by the YouTuber sought clubbing of FIRs against him in Bihar and Tamil Nadu, besides interim anticipatory bail.
Kashyap is currently in the custody of Tamil Nadu Police in connection with sharing a fake video regarding the alleged attack on migrant workers from Bihar in Tamil Nadu.
Police had taken him for questioning earlier after getting a remand order from a Madurai court.
Appearing for Kashyap, Senior Advocate Siddhartha Dave submitted before the Apex Court that Kashyap was facing five prosecutions in two states.
He said two FIRs were lodged against Kashyap in Tamil Nadu, while his bail petition in the FIR lodged at Bihar was denied.
Mentioning the case involving editor-in-chief of Republic Media Network, Arnab Goswami, Dave contended that one offence could not give rise to multiple proceedings. Therefore, the FIR in Bihar should be treated as the lead case.
The Senior Counsel further said that he was taken to Tamil Nadu, where he did not even understand the language.
Representing the State of Tamil Nadu, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal submitted that the fake news resulted in deaths and was not a small matter.
He sought two weeks time to file a reply, stating that the accused was detained under the National Security Act (NSA). The Advocate further said that both the URL was different and the offences were different, so two weeks were needed to file a reply.
Dave opposed the same, stating that it was too long as he was being harassed everyday.
The Apex Court then agreed to hear the case next week.