Madras High Court has directed the Group Coordinator (Joint Secretary), Cyber Law Division in the Union Department of Information Technology to ban the whistle blower website Savukku.net within ten days. The judgement follows a writ petition filed by a lawyer and Sun TV newsreader accusing the website of defamation. Though the order was made on Friday, the website is still functional.
In its order Justice Selvam notes that the decision was made because the website damaged the reputation and status of not less than half a dozen judges, many advocates, IAS and IPS officers. However, in an interview with TheNewsMinute, Savukku Shankar alias Achimuthu Shankar, who runs the website, claimed that he was being targeted for publishing 2G tapes, which alleged had conversations between DMK MP Kanimozhi, Former TN Intelligence Chief Jaffer Sait and Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar. The judge also told the TheNewsMinute that he found the contents demeaning and that’s why the interim order was passed.
It is worth noting that the the judge had earlier pulled up police for failing to control the site from publishing derogatory articles against judges and directed them to arrest one person the owner of the website. The police had then arrested the designer of the website who was later released on bail after 21 days in prison. The designer’s counsel had argued that a different judge try the case as there were articles against Judge Selvam also on savukku.net.
Shankar was a government employee, but he was suspended after he leaked a transcript of a taped conversation between S K Upadhyay, then director of DVAC, and L K Tripathi to Deccan Chronicle. He started Savukku as a blog in 2010 and converted it into a full fledged website later on. Shankar might be the man running the website, but it is registered in the name of a Kesava Perumal, who is based in US. It is not clear if that is the name of the real owner, or a fake name used while registering the website. That being the case, it is very difficult for the court to take any other action against the website.