Marathi man may end in jail for ‘anti-South Indian’ rant on Facebook
The Karnataka high court said he has to face the trial in the case and it was for the lower court to decide whether his comments, made on a Facebook post, constituted an offence
A Marathi-speaking software engineer, employed at a reputed IT firm in Bengaluru, faces the chance of landing in jail after the Karnataka High Court refused his plea to quash a case against him for his derogatory remarks on south Indians on social networking site Facebook.
The high court said he has to face the trial in the case and it was for the lower court to decide whether his comments, made on a Facebook post, constituted an offence.
The case dates back to January this year when responding to an article on Facebook, where a post against a bus conductor for speaking only in the “local (Kannada)” language was gaining traction, software engineer Pritish Kumar Patil resorted to abuse against South Indians.
A group - Samanya Kannadiga -lashed out at the engineer on the social media, and even published his personal information online.
Following this, the techie issued a written apology, saying his comments stemmed out of a “lack of judgment”, and that he had not intended to hurt anyone, imploring them not to approach the police.
However, a police case was filed against him under Section 505 (making provocative statements) of the IPC for “statements conducting to public mischief” by Sandeep Parswanath of the group on January 3.
The group even circulated the identity of the software engineer to “ensure he doesn’t get a job elsewhere”.
The case is pending before the VIII Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. Patil had approached the Karnataka high court to get the case quashed.
Refusing to quash the proceedings in the lower court, the HC in its order on December 6, said: “The content of the post which the petitioner (Patil) is said to have placed on his Facebook account, is the subject matter of the complaint by a Trust which is supposedly working for the betterment of the Kannada language. Therefore, the offence alleged could be made out with reference to the statement in the post and is to be tested at the trial. There is no warrant for quashing the proceedings.”