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Karnataka HC gives temporary relief to YouTuber

Karnataka HC gives temporary relief to YouTuber

Bengaluru, June 24 (UNI) In a courtroom drama that unfolded at the Karnataka High Court on Monday, YouTuber Ajeet Bharti found temporary relief as Justice M Nagaprasanna issued a stay order on the investigation against him.

Bharti had been charged under sections 153-A and 505(2) of the IPC for allegedly making contentious remarks against senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a video tweet.
The controversy began when Bharti's social media post claimed that Rahul Gandhi aimed to reconstruct the Babri Masjid at the site of the newly built Ram temple in Ayodhya. This assertion, Bharti argued, was based on reports published in two prominent national newspapers and comments made by former Congress leaders.
Appearing for Bharti, Senior Advocate Aruna Shyam, accompanied by Advocates Anirudh A Kulkarni and Akshay S Vasist, contested the allegations, emphasising that their client merely echoed claims already in the public domain. They challenged the notion that Bharti's tweet had incited communal disharmony, arguing that there was no concrete evidence to support such accusations.
In a critical ruling, Justice M Nagaprasanna acknowledged the complexity of the case, highlighting that Bharti's tweet was a response to information widely circulated in the media. The court observed that branding Bharti's remarks as false propaganda contradicted the reports carried by reputable newspapers.
"The genesis of the problem lies in the claim as aforequoted which has resulted in the tweet by the petitioner," Justice Nagaprasanna remarked during the proceedings, underscoring the inherent conflict between competing claims.
Consequently, the court decided to stay further investigation into the matter until a more thorough examination could ascertain the truthfulness of the newspaper reports cited by Bharti.
The legal battle, encapsulating issues of freedom of expression and the responsibilities of social media influencers, is set to continue with the case scheduled for a subsequent hearing on July 19, 2024.
As Bharti awaits the next chapter in his legal saga, the outcome of this case could potentially redefine the boundaries of online discourse and its impact on public discourse and communal harmony.

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