Categorized | India

Speaking Your Mind On Orkut? Beware!

An Indian commerce student found it the hard way.

You can have an opinion about anyone in a free country like India, even some one as important as Sonia Gandhi, but if you are not careful about the way you express it, you could land in serious trouble.

This is precisely what happened to 22-year-old IT professional Rahul Krishnakumar Vaid from Gurgaon, Haryana who was arrested by the Pune police for posting derogatory content about Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi on an orkut community named — “I hate Sonia Gandhi”.

Interestingly, the person who formed this community is not guilty as per the law. The police said that hating Sonia Gandhi is a personal opinion of the person who formed the community and having a personal opinion about someone is not an offence as per the law.

Vaid was charged under section 292 of Indian Penal Code and section 67 of the Information Technology Act because he created a profile and then posted content in vulgar language about Sonia Gandhi in the community.

During investigations, the cyber crime cell of Pune police communicated with the Google company seeking details about the who formed this forum and circulated the obscene content. It was known that the vulgar message about Sonia Gandhi was circulated through an email address – . The owner of the email id Rahul Vaid was traced to Chakarpur in Gurgaon city of Haryana.

If proved guilty, Vaid could be imprisoned for up to five years and may have to pay a fine up to Rs one lakh.

During interrogations, Vaid told the police that he posted the message because he hated Sonia Gandhi and was not aware that it would lead to a police case.

Vaid is a commerce graduate and was working in the hardware department of an IT company in Gurgaon.

Some time back somebody wrote similar stuff about Shivaji. The perp was beaten with lathis in the jail and forced to use the same bowl for eating and toilet.

At that time it was Airtel to be blamed. Later on it was found that the company messed up on the IP address and sent the wrong person to the gallows.

How should one view the role of companies like Google who are never shy to proclaim their ‘Do No Evil’ philosophy but when the time comes for action, they are usually found wanting.

Another way of looking at it though would be, such issues may not be crimes in countries like US, UK etc. where anybody and everybody can speak anything about their Presidents and other ruling party members without any fear of blowback, but in countries like China, India etc., these companies have to follow the rules laid down there.

    5 Responses to “Speaking Your Mind On Orkut? Beware!”

    1. Derek Jetter says:

      Its a tough call to make no matter how you look at it. India is a democratic country so it was not wrong on Google’s part to make this information available to police as it was legally requested to do it so, but it was wrong on the part of law enforces on how they used this info.

    2. DS says:

      Yes i do agree it was wrong on the part of law enforces on how they use the info.

      Especially about the law enforcing in INDIA, the less said the better.

    3. Tarun says:

      Good post Sita. There was some interesting discussion on this topic at Slashdot as well.


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