Man Charged for Sedition After ‘Liking’ Offensive Facebook Content
Man Charged for Sedition After ‘Liking’ Offensive Facebook Content Reuters

A native of Kerala was charged for sedition and insulting national honour after he allegedly "liked" some defamatory content on Facebook.  

Kochi police booked K H Muhammed Ali, a company employee in Dubai, K H Muhammed Ali under charges that include  sedition, sending offensive message (66A of Information Technology Act, 2000), and for insulting the national flag (section 2 of Prevention of Insults to National Honor Act, 1971), reported The Times of India.

Filed in Sept 2012, the FIR stated that Ali had clicked the "like" option for a page titled "I Love Pakistan" and image of the national flag wrapped around a dog.

Challenging police's claim, Ali on Tuesday filed a complaint in the Kerala high court stating that his Facebook profile did not bare any images or comments that questioned the integrity of India or the national flag. He affirmed that he never sent any offensive messages and only clicked "like" on content posted by his Facebook friends and a few Pakistanis.

Ali argued that the registration of FIR in cyber cases without a pre-investigation inquiry by an investigative agency with expertise in information technology was against the rule in the cyber crime investigation manual which was released by Union home secretary.

Explaining the consequences of the FIR, Ali said that neighbours and relatives have shunned his family and considered them traitors. This in turn traumatised his wife and younger child.

He blamed the Kochi city police commissioner in his petition saying that the authorities' conclusion of a hypothetical inference was nothing short of character assassination. He also alleged that the FIR stated that a close relation with Pakistanis in the UAE may lead him to "antisocial activities".