The Madras High Court, on Wednesday, directed the Police to act on a complaint filed against actor Kamal Haasan and register an FIR against him if they see merit in the allegations.
The complaint was filed after Mr. Haasan tweeted last week urging his fans not to distribute 'nilavembu kudineer', a herbal concoction to treat dengue, until proper research is carried out. He had later clarified that he "had put out the tweet to avoid the medicine, which is under a controversy, from being given in excess quantity".
The complainant, Mr. G. Devarajan, has alleged that Mr. Haasan was "utilizing the social network for spreading false rumors and also opinions against the Government". He has further alleged that Mr. Haasan was making such statements with “political motives against the ruling government and to disturb peace in the state”.
Mr. Devarajan had, thereby, sought a direction to the Police to register a case against the actor under the Cyber crime laws and the National Security Act. The Chennai Police Commissioner had, however, chosen not to register an FIR as they had found “nothing defamatory” in his tweet.
This did not go down well with Justice M.S. Ramesh, who opined that the Police was "not justified in having received the complaint and keeping it unattended without any further action". He then directed the Police to conduct a preliminary inquiry within fifteen days in order to ascertain whether a cognizable offence is made out.
The Court further directed:
"If the inquiry discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, the FIR must be registered, if not already registered or closed.
If the preliminary inquiry ends in closing the complaint, the disclosure report must be recorded along with the reasonings and a copy of the same shall be furnished to the complainant within one week."