Arrest “may not be the answer” to stop rumour-mongering over the health of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, said H L Dattu, chairperson of National Human Rights Commission, Friday.
“Since the punishment (for speeding rumours) may be under (IPC section) 500 (defamation) or 505 (causing public mischief), arrest may not be the answer. People have the freedom to express. The Supreme Court has once again upheld this in a recent decision. Arrest may not be the answer. The police may look at other avenues to check rumour-mongering,” said Dattu, former Chief Justice of India.
The NHRC chief was addressing the media on the commission’s foundation day. Anticipating questions on the NHRC report on the alleged exodus of Hindus from Kairana, Dattu said a complaint was received from activist Monica Arora after which the commission, on June 10, directed its investigation cell to make a spot inquiry. “After that statements of witnesses, police officials and the district magistrate were recorded… The full commission will discuss the report and give a final opinion,” Dattu said.