Social media for some is unrestrained playground of their wildest predilections: Kerala HC

Social media is good in the hands of the worthy, but for some it’s “an unrestrained playground of their wildest likes,” the Kerala Supreme Court said Thursday, adding that while freedom of expression and expression is a “valuable” right, some “abuse it to the extreme”.

Judge Devan Ramachandran’s observations related to social media posts by a former judicial officer who made “disrespectful” and “malicious” comments on the Supreme Court orders regarding the investigation of the self-proclaimed antiques dealer Monson Mavunkal. had given up. The former judicial officer also attacked the judge personally, the court found.

Judge Ramachandran subsequently said he had asked the former judicial officer to appear in court and tell him where things went wrong, rather than immediately taking action against him under the Disobedience Law.

However, the former bailiff did not appear in court, which led to his being a “coward” at the hearing. “The tragedy of today is that busy bodies feel that they can say and comment viciously on social media, under the impression that they do not fall under any responsibility.” “Social media is good in the hands of the good and worthy. But for some it is an unrestrained playground for their wildest preferences,” said the court.

The Supreme Court then ruled that the former judicial officer, after being asked to appear before him, “responded” by again “ridiculing” the court and calling it “fascist”. It also found that the High Court Registry had found that he had also set up posts posing as a martyr and threatening to harm himself.

“The scenario is thus clear. This person’s mindset is nihilistic and I therefore close this opportunity to hear him, as I recognize that he has nothing of value to say,” said Judge Ramachandran. He went on to say that freedom of expression is a “key to the intellect” and the power of expression is “the most precious and powerful facet of human existence”, but some “abuse freedom to the utmost”.

The court said that it is the actions of such individuals that “force” even right-thinking citizens to seek regulation of online space. Judge Ramachandran said the only punishment he could offer the former judicial officer for making “wanton statements” was to treat the same as inconsequential and “deny him his 15-minute fame.” In making these observations, the court dismissed the summons it had put on the ex-bailiff and instructed the High Court Registry to take the action required by law against the composition of its posts, after the necessary orders from the Chief Justice had been overtaken.

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