New Delhi: NHRC Chairperson H L Dattu today said arrests of people on the issue of rumours over Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's health may not be an answer and that there are ther ways of dealing with it.
"People have the fundamental right to express. The Supreme Court has spoken a lot on this. It has in a recent judgement also upheld the right. And, whether it is (IPC section) 500 or 505, arrest may not be an answer. There are other avenues to check rumour-mongering," he told reporters.
The remarks of Justice Dattu, a former Chief Justice of India, come in the wake of a series of arrests in few persons in Tamil Nadu for allegedly circulating rumours regarding Jayalalithaa's health status.
He was addressing a press conference here to mark the foundation day of the National Human Rights Commission which was born in 1993.
Soon after Jayalalithaa was admitted to the Apollo Hospital in Chennai on September 22 after she complained of fever and dehydration, rumours have been running rife about her health on social networking sites like Facebook and WhatsApp.
To scotch such rumours, the local police have formed a team comprising private cyber experts to keep a watch on those who spread false information about the health and warned of stern action against those involved in such acts.
She is still undergoing treatment at the hospital, amid rumour-mongering on her health condition, and police have registered 43 cases so far.