The Madras High Court on Thursday sentences YouTuber Savukku Shankar to six months in jail for contempt of court. The YouTuber had stood by his comments highlighting corruption in the judiciary in one of gis youtube videos.
Justices GR Swaminathan and B Pugalenthi refused to show leniency to Shankar or even suspend his jail sentence.
What Did Savukku Shankar Say?
Shankar runs a YouTube channel, called Redlix, where he had made controversial statements about the Indian judiciary. In a video posted on 22 July, Shankar had said that ‘the entire judiciary’ was ‘riddled with corruption.’
The Madras High Court had taken a dim view of his comments against the judiciary and initiated a contempt of court case.
Shankar had stood by his comments in his early reply filed before the court. He, however, contended that Justice Swaminathan could not be a part of the Bench in the case against him since the controversial remarks were made against him in the YouTube video. The YouTuber argued that the judge could not preside over a case where he himself was a party.
But the Madras High Court contended that the Registry and referred the case to Chief Justice and the latter had chosen to include Justice Swaminathan in the Bench.
The Madras High Court said that while Shankar was well within his right to highlight specific issues of corruption backed by evidence, he simply could not accuse the entire judiciary of corruption. The judges felt that this would be tantamount to crossing the ‘lakshman rekha.’