Saturday, February 4, 2023

Supreme Court releases YouTuber Savukku Shankar, sentenced to 6-months imprisonment for contempt of court

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The Supreme Court on Friday directed release of YouTuber Savukku Shankar, who was awarded six-month imprisonment by the Madras High Court on contempt of court.

The order was passed by the Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice J.K. Maheshwari. The Bench directed the YouTuber not to make videos on the proceedings of either the Supreme Court or the High Courts till the next date of hearing.

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had convicted Shankar on September 15 for criminal contempt over his comments on the judiciary, which he made in a video uploaded on his YouTube channel.

The High Court had taken suo motu cognisance of a video uploaded on July 22 on Shankar’s YouTube channel Redpix, in which he had allegedly said that the ‘entire’ judiciary was ‘riddled’ with corruption.

The Bench of Justice G.R. Swaminathan and Justice P. Pugalendhi issued a second notice to Shankar on August 4, asking why contempt proceedings must not be initiated against him.

The YouTuber reportedly told the High Court that he stood by his statements.

However, in a written reply before the High Court, Shankar stated that he made such comments and wrote such articles because he loved his nation deeply and wished that the institutions of the country were strengthened.

The High Court, however, refused to accept his argument. It held that Shankar saying that his statements had been taken out of context, and he had spoken up merely out of concern for the judiciary, could not be held as a ‘mitigating’ circumstance.

(Case title: Shankar alias Savukku Shankar vs The Judicial Registrar and Ors)

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