Lawstreet Journal

Toon Controversy- "Can't Teach Ethics to People; Cartoon Will Lose Life if Taken Without Context": Madras HC Quashes Criminal Defamation Case [READ ORDER]

Lawstreet Journal 12 Jun 2021 12:27am

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Toon Controversy- "Can't Teach Ethics to People; Cartoon Will Lose Life if Taken Without Context": Madras HC Quashes Criminal Defamation Case [READ ORDER]

The Madras High Court recently quashed a criminal defamation case against a person who allegedly defamed the authorities by posting a defamatory cartoon on his Facebook page. 

It ruled that the Court cannot teach ethics to the people and it is for the Society to evolve and follow the ethical standards.

The bench of Madras High Court comprising Justice G. Ilangovan further remarked that:

“In recent times another issue, which was created by a cartoonist throughout the world is the "Toon Controversy". That cartoon was about the Prophet Mohammed, which created controversy throughout the World. The discussion emanated from this episode is as to the limitations of freedom of speech and expression and as well as the principles of hate speech and expression."

Facts of the case

The accused was alleged for publishing a defamatory cartoon in which he depicted the self-immolation incident of 23 October 2017.

The cartoon portrayed the District Collector, the Superintendent of police, and the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu without clothes, thereby covering their private parts with currency notes and watching the burning body of a baby.

The accused was charged as the cartoon was defamatory and it was published without proper verification of the facts.

Therefore, a case was registered against the accused of the offences punishable under section 501 of Indian penal code, 1860, (deals with Printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory) and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (deals with publishing or transmitting of material containing the… Continue Reading...


Tagged: Madras High Court  
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