Madurai: YouTuber ‘Savukku’ Shankar gets 6-month jail for contempt | Madurai News

MADURAI: YouTuber ‘Savukku’ Shankar, against whom the Madras high court had initiated suo motu contempt proceedings for a series of contumacious online articles and interviews showing judges and the judiciary in poor light, was found guilty and sentenced to six months in jail on Thursday.
A livid division bench of Justice G R Swaminathan and Justice B Pugalendhi, pointed to Shankar’s unrepentant and defiant attitude, and ordered that he be taken to the central prison in Madurai immediately.
It also directed the Union ministry of electronics and information technology to take steps to take down all offending interviews and articles forthwith. It impleaded Twitter, YouTube and Facebook for the purpose.
“The conduct of the contemnor deserves to be noted. Nowhere has he expressed his regret or remorse. He did not offer any apology at all. On the other hand, he asserted that he was justified in making the charged statements. A reading of the charged statements would lead anyone to the conclusion that they are likely to lower the prestige and dignity of courts and judges. We, therefore, hold that the contemnor is guilty of criminal contempt,” observed the judges.
Noting that they would have closed the proceedings had Shankar realised his mistake and sincerely apologised, the judges said: “Far from doing so, the contemnor stuck to his position. In fact, his conduct during the last few weeks would constitute acts of contempt on their own. The contemnor is a suspended state government employee who is receiving subsistence allowance for the last 13 years. He is governed by the Conduct Rules. Yet, he has been attacking all the three organs of the state in a vicious manner. He is already facing criminal contempt proceedings. Yet, he has made the offending statements.”
The judges observed, “He has gone to the extent of stating that he can be sentenced only to a maximum of six months and that after coming out, he will focus all his attention exclusively on judges and judiciary.” Concluding that Shankar’s words had the effect of lowering the dignity and prestige of this institution, the judges said he would be well within his rights to highlight specific instances of corruption. Of course, they must be backed by material. He cannot tar the entire institution with a single brush. “That would be crossing the Lakshman Rekha by a long shot,” they said.
Earlier, Shankar who appeared in person submitted that he is deeply concerned with the under-representation of the suppressed classes and the over-representation of brahmins in the higher judiciary. However, senior counsel A L Somayaji, representing the high court registry, said the charges indeed scandalised the judiciary.

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