A man from Tamil Nadu, who had dubbed Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat a “dictator” and a “mercenary of fascists” will walk free with the Madras High Court quashing the First Information Report registered against him by the police.
Allowing a petition filed by the accused Sivarajaboopathi of Nagercoil in Kanniyakumari district, Justice G R Swamanithan said there was no doubt the message posted by him on Facebook was in bad taste and lacked fundamental civility. However, the comment “does not amount to provocation” the judge held and quashed the FIR registered against Sivarajaboopathi and another person arraigned in the case. The case was registered by the Cyber Crime Police on a complaint from a local resident who took offence to the post.
The complainant said after a helicopter carrying General Rawat, his wife and 12 defence personnel crashed in the Nilgiris last year, Sivarajaboopathi had posted on Facebook that it was a shame to shed tears for “dictator Bipin Rawat, a mercenary of fascists”. The post amounted to promoting enmity between groups with an intent to provoke breach of peace, the complainant alleged.
Challenging the FIR, the accused, however said he had posted the comment to show his opposition to an interview given by the late General to a magazine. In the interview, General Rawat had said, “As enemies are afraid of us, people must also be afraid on seeing us.” Angered by such views of the General, he had posted the comments on Facebook after his death, the accused said in his petition adding he had no intention to promote enmity or create any disturbance.
Earlier the Principal Sessions Judge, Kanniyakumari, had granted him anticipatory bail.