For the 2nd time in India, a Whatsapp admin has been arrested because of objectionable content shared on his group.
Krishna Sanna Thamma Naik, a 30-year-old auto driver from Uttrara Kannada district in Karnataka, is an admin of a Whatsapp group named The Balse Boys’. A few days back, he shared a morphed image of PM Modi, which showcased him in a bad light. Alongside, he also shared obscene content regarding the PM.
Based on a complaint, Uttara Kannada police has arrested Krishna and taken him into custody. The complaint said that Krishna’s post was created to malign the public image of PM Modi, and make it look ‘obscene and ugly’.
Interestingly, another member of the same Whatsapp group, Ganesh Naik, had also shared a similar, obscene image of PM Modi on the group. Police had arrested him initially, but then let him off with a warning.
However, with the case of group admin, the police has used relevant sections of the IT Act to take him into judicial custody.
Police acted after the complaint was made by a person called Manjunath.
Can Police Arrest Whatsapp Admin?
In 2015, Whatsapp Admins from Latur, Maharashtra were arrested due to sharing some objectionable content, making it the first such arrest.
Recently, District Magistrate of Varanasi ordered the arrest of anyone, who shares fake news on social media platforms like Whatsapp and Facebook.
However, in a verdict given last year, Delhi High Court has clearly said that Whatsapp admin cannot be arrested over any content shared on their respective groups.
The judge had observed: “I am unable to understand as to how the administrator of a group can be held liable for defamation, even if any, by the statements made by a member of the group.”
This means that the recent arrest of Whatsapp Admin Krishna Sanna Thamma Naik is against Delhi HC judgement.
Besides, Supreme Court has already abolished Section 66A of Information Act, which was earlier used to arrest anyone for sharing objectionable content.
The Supreme Court judges had observed: “what is grossly offensive to you, may not be grossly offensive to me and it is a vague term… Highly trained judicial minds (judges of the UK courts) came to different conclusions by using the same test applied to judge as to what is grossly offensive and what is offensive,”
Having said that, intentionally maligning the image and reputation of the PM of any country is, in itself, a grave offence, and there is no reason this activity should be encouraged. Deliberately morphing image of another person, and sharing on online platforms is actually intentionally maligning the reputation, which is a breach of fundamental rights of that person.
We still don’t know which laws have been used to arrest Krishna, and what action would be taken against him. We will keep you updated as we receive more information."Whatsapp Admin Gets Arrested For Sharing Vulgar Image Of PM Modi; 2nd Such Arrest In India!",