A 40-year-old housewife from Vellore, Maha Laxmi, has been arrested for remarks she made against a Madras High Court judge in September, The Indian Express reported.
She is an avid Facebook user and comments on various social issues. In September, she criticised a High Court judge by name and posted the same on social media, Vellore SP P Pakalavan confirmed.
As per police reports, Maha Laxmi had commented on Justice N Kirubakaran for his remarks against the Tamil Nadu government school teachers’ strike in September. As the social media became replete with posts against him, Justice Kirubakaran lodged a complaint against the offensive materials circulated online against him.
After being produced to the Vellore court on 22 November, she was remanded to 15 days judicial custody at the Vellore South police station. Later, she was kept at the women’s cell of the Vellore central prison.
Background to the remarks posted by Laxmi
A protest was organised by government school teachers boycotting classes along with employees’ unions demanding implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations and also scrapping of contributory pension scheme.
Justice Kirubakaran had opined that boycotts and strikes by teachers were a primary reason for government school students getting low marks in NEET exams. He reportedly said, “Only five government school students from the state have managed to secure medical seats. Protesting teachers should feel ashamed of this fact. They should know their responsibility. Such persons cannot be involved in strikes.” Many, including social media users and teachers, who supported the strike were disturbed by such comments of Kirubakaran.
Post the teachers’ strike, Laxmi posted her comment on Facebook, naming and criticising Justice Kirubakaran, on the next day viz. 14 September. “Her post referred to the judge’s name and personal details, and alleged personal motives for his anger against teachers. She was traced among many, including some 25 teachers and government staff, who are awaiting action from their respective departments before arrests,” a senior police officer reportedly said.
The police claims that the posts she had made were her personal opinion whereas Laxmi said that she had merely shared an information that was being circulated in the social media.