Location: Malappuram, India
11° 2' 30.0012" N, 76° 4' 45.9984" E
Status: Under Arrest
Arrested on 11 Nov 2010

Moithu (47), a government employee from the Indian state of Kerala, was summoned to the Cyber Police Station there and arrested on 11th November for forwarding an email joke about the election debacle of the ruling CPM (Communist Party-Marxist) party to a few friends. In the recent local elections in Kerala state, the communist government in power received a major setback.

The forwarded email contained a poster with picture of a popular politician (Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan) with a dialogue from an old Malayalam movie ‘Sandesham'. The alleged cyber crime was that Moithu edited out the part that mentioned “this is a joke” from the subject line, and forwarded this picture to his few friends through email.

The mail was widely circulated and the CPM politburo member and complainant, Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan, did not find it funny. He thought it was defamatory and complained to the police’s cyber cell.

Moithu, a resident of Kuttipuram in Malappuram District, had received the mail from Hamsa, a relative in Barcelona, who collected it from just4ajoke@ Moithu was charged under section 66(A) of the amended IT Act of 2008, which makes sending a “defamatory mail” punishable (imprisonment up to three years and a fine of INR 100,000).

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