NEW DELHI: Observing that one has to face consequences for abusive and vulgar posts on social media and an apology would not be enough to waive criminal proceedings, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to quash the trial against actor and former Tamil Nadu MLA S Ve Shekher for sharing a post which made indecent remarks against women journalists.
The court dismissed the petition filed by the 72-year-old actor.Multiple cases were lodged against Shekher in TN after he shared the post on Facebook. Shekher’s lawyer said the actor had deleted the post after realising the mistake and had also tendered an unconditional apology. He also submitted that the actor, who has a wide following on social media, shared someone else’s post inadvertently without reading it as his vision was blurred at that time.

‘People must face music for abusive social media posts’.

One has to be very careful while using social media: SC
Actor and former Tamil Nadu MLA S Ve Shekher’s lawyer said the post went viral in no time.
“I come from a respected family and my family respects women journalists. I had taken medicine in my eyes at that time (sic) due to which I couldn’t read contents of the post which I shared,” his lawyer said.
The bench of Justices B R Gavai and Prashant Kumar Mishra, however, expressed surprise at how the actor had shared the post so casually without reading the contents and refused to interfere in the trial proceedings against him.
“One has to be very careful while using social media. One has to be diligent. Using social media is not essential but if one is using it then one should be ready to face consequences,” the court said, asking him to face trial.

The criminal cases were filed in the courts of Chennai, Karur and Tirunelveli districts by a journalists’ association in 2018. Shekher moved the apex court after his plea to quash criminal proceedings was rejected by the Madras high court.
Dismissing his plea last month, the high court had said, “A message that is sent or forwarded on social media is like an arrow which has already been shot from the bow. Till that message remains with the sender, it is within his control. Once it is sent… the sender of the message must take the ownership for the consequences of the damage done by that arrow (message). Once the damage is done, it will become very difficult to wriggle out of the same by issuing an apology statement.”
Shekher’s lawyer also pleaded the court to exempt his personal appearance before the trial court but the apex court refused to pass the order and asked him to approach the trial judge with the plea.


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