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Karnataka HC slams police for action against FB page admin who posted against HD Kumaraswamy and others, orders inquiry

"The police action against the petitioner was illegal. Liberty of a citizen in a civilized society is sacrosanct," said Justice P S Dinesh Kumar in his order pronounced on Friday. 

Reprimanding the Bengaluru police for violation of Fundamental Rights, the Karnataka High Court quashed an FIR registered against one S Jaikanth, the admin of a Facebook page ‘Troll Maga’. Jaikanth was arrested earlier for posting against JD(S) party chief HD Deve Gowda, the then Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy and his son Nikhil Kumaraswamy.

Reportedly, the Karnataka HC has also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh that would be recovered from the police officers responsible for the arrest of the admin of the FB page. The Director-General of Police and Inspector General of Karnataka Police has been directed by the Karanataka HC to conduct an inquiry against the police officers responsible for the arrest of Jaikanth, the admin of the Facebook page. 

The High court also ordered departmental action against the Magistrate who remanded the accused in violation of SC guidelines. Jaikanth was remanded despite being granted anticipatory bail by a lower court. The court also directed that the compensation should be provided to petitioner S Jaikanth within a month.

“The police action against the petitioner was illegal. Liberty of a citizen in a civilized society is sacrosanct,” said Justice P S Dinesh Kumar in his order pronounced on Friday. 

A complaint was filed by a JDS party worker against S Jaikanth, the administrator of the Facebook page, ‘Troll Maga’ for allegedly posting abusive and insulting posts against former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda, the then Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and his son and leader from the party, Nikhil Kumaraswamy.

Soon, Jaikanth had obtained anticipatory bail from a lower court and had gone to Srirampuram police station to submit the bail. However, the Karnataka police had arrested Jaikanth, an engineer by profession, in the second complaint on the same set of facts as mentioned in the first complaint in May.

However, on June 28, 2019, the Karnataka High Court had directed immediate release of the administrator of the Facebook page ‘Troll Maga’ and has stayed the criminal proceeding against the admin till July 11. The HC had then termed the police act as ‘police-raj’ and stayed the proceedings.

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