The Supreme Court has restored the bail order of a Youtuber A. Duraimurugan Pandiyan Sattai whose bail was cancelled by the High Court stating that he made derogatory remarks against the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, a Former Chief Minister and made remarks against the demolition of Babri Masjid demanding the release of certain accused in custody.

Duraimurugan, vide Special Leave to Appeal, challenged the order of the Madras High Court which cancelled the bail granted to him earlier for violation of bail conditions.

The Bench of Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan observed, “Even otherwise, we are of the view that the grounds mentioned in the impugned order cannot constitute grounds for cancellation of bail. Strong criticism of the Hon'ble Chief Minister is not a violation of bail order. Therefore, we set aside the impugned order dated 7th June, 2022 and restore the order of the High Court dated 6th August, 2021.”

Advocate M Yogesh Khanna appeared for the Appellant whereas Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi and Sr. AAG V. Krishnamurthy appeared for the Respondents.

The Appellant who is a YouTuber had made certain derogatory remarks against the Former Chief Minister of the State of Tamil Nadu. On the complaint lodged by one P.Rajasekar, a case was registered against him for the offences under Sections 153(A), 504 & 505(i)(b) IPC r/w Section 67 of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008.

During the hearing of his bail application pending before the Madras High Court, he had filed an affidavit of undertaking stating that he had realized his mistake and that he would not indulge in any such activities in future. By recording the undertaking affidavit the High Court had granted bail.

Despite the undertaking affidavit, he was repeatedly involved in making derogatory statements against the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Aggrieved, the State had filed an application for cancellation of bail earlier granted by the High Court.

The Supreme Court also held “As far as the first FIR is concerned, it is about participation in a protest on 6th December, 2022 for making a grievance about the demolition of Babri Masjid. The second FIR relates to an allegation that the appellant and others spoke furiously and demanded release of certain persons in custody. We do not think that only by expressing his strong views about the demolition of the masjid and by demanding release of prisoners, it can be said that the appellant has misused the liberty granted to him under the order dated 25th July, 2022.”

In the impugned order the Madras High Court held, “From the records, it appears that the first respondent is in the habit of committing the offences with an intention to have more views so as to earn money from the social media. Within few days after submitting an undertaking affidavit before this Court, based on which he was enlarged on bail, he has indulged in further offence by making derogatory remarks as against the Hon'ble Chief Minister of the State. This Court is satisfied that it is a clear violation of the terms and conditions stipulated in the earlier orders and as such, this Court is inclined to cancel the earlier bail granted to the first respondent....”

The High Court, inter alia, had discussed the role of intermediaries in such cases and referred to the observation of the Supreme Court in Pravasi Bhalai Sangathan v. Union of India (2014).

Accordingly, the Court allowed the Appeal and directed that in case of any misuse of the liberty granted to the Appellant, it would be open for the Respondents to approach the Court for cancellation of bail.

Cause Title: A. Duraimurugan Pandiyan Sattai @Duraimurugan v. State Rep. by The Inspector of Police & Anr.


Appellant: Advocates M. Yogesh Kanna, Prabu Ramasubramaniyan, Bharthimohan M, Priya R and Monica Saini.

Respondents: Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, Sr. AAG V. Krishnamurthy, Advocates Sabarish Subramanian, C. Kranthi Kumar, Vishnu Unnikrishnan, Naman Dwivedi, Richa Vishwakarma, Aman Prasad, Chandra Bhushan Tiwari and Danish Saifi.

Click here to read/download the Order