Beware! A Facebook comment can land you in jail

Commenting
on social media can get a non-bailable offence to your credit. This is
precisely what happened with Pritish Kumar Patil, a B.E. Electronics and
Communication student from an engineering college in Bengaluru when he
commented on a Facebook thread posted by the Logical Indians.

On January 3, the Logical Indians had posted an article on their website titled, ‘My story: I Gave Her a Hundred Rupee Note & She Started Yelling At Me In Her Local Language.’ (article has been removed from the Logical Indians website) People from the online community flooded the site with comments about the article. What triggered an uproar amongst the local Kannadigas was the comment made by Patil. He made use of foul language while commenting on the article. Soon after, locals from Karnataka flooded the Facebook thread by commenting against Patil.

Samanya Kannadiga, a Kanada organisation filed an FIR against Patil in the Gangammanagudi Police station, Bengaluru. The accused has been charged under Indian Penal Code section 505, offending a class/community  “Patil hasn’t been arrested yet. We are tracking his mobile phone details to trace him,” says Investigating Officer of Gangammanagudi police station.

Later, Patil tried to revert the damage by writing an apology letter to the Samanya Kannadiga organisation, but to no avail.

He has
now deactivated his Facebook account. He had also applied for an Anticipatory
Bail, which eventually stayed rejected as on January 30, after Judge Kotrayya M
Hiremath, 55th Additional City Civil and Sessions Court said “The accused may
not be interested in learning each and every regional language of India. He may
continue to use the official language. It is left to his choice. But every
India citizen must know that the Constitution imposes reasonable restrictions
on freedom of speech in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India.” 

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