Earlier this month Karnataka HC bench of Justice Suraj Govindraja refused to interfere with the ongoing investigation in extortion case against Power TV Channel MD Rakesh Shetty and also refused to quash the FIR against him.
The FIR against him stated that petitioner’s news channel runs a program which put allegations on the present Chief Minister Sri. B. S. Yediyurappa about illegal financial dealings and that Minister’s family members interfere in the day-to-day administration of the State Government.
The arguments made in the case were that the counsel of the petitioner argued before the court that the complaint filed is motivated and is at the instance of the family members of the present Chief Minister in as much as the filing of the same is post the telecast by Petitioner’s channel.
It was also said that the complaint is all related to political agenda and said that “It is only in order to stifle the voice of the free press that the present complaint has been filed since the news reported by the channel was unpleasant the Chief Minister and his family.”
Counsel for the channel MD said that the investigating agency had retained the user name and password of social media/digital platform like Facebook and YouTube pending investigation and equipment of TV channel was seized by the investigation agency.
The court in this case observed that- “An investigating agency can not retain the user name and password of social media/digital platform like Facebook and YouTube pending investigation, the investigation agency can download the data required from such account and thereafter has to give back the changed credentials to the person who owns the said social media. The Respondents are therefore directed to handover new login credentials of the Facebook and Youtube account of the Petitioner within seven days from the date of receipt of the certified copy of the order”,
Lastly, the court allowed the Petition partly and the petitioner was also given the liberty to approach the trial Court by filing an application under Section 451 r/w 452 of Cr.P.C. for return of the equipment seized from them. The Court alsodirected that the application would be considered by the trial Court in terms of the High Court’s Order and the seized items to be returned to the petitioner on such terms and conditions as the trial Court may think proper.