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A couple of weeks after the Madras High Court refused to grant anticipatory bail to him, BJP leader S Ve Shekher today obtained protection against arrest from the Supreme Court.
The matter came up before the Supreme Court Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha, who granted protection to the petitioner till the next date of hearing on June 1. The Court also issued notice to the state of Tamil Nadu in the case, and said that no coercive action against the petitioner can be taken in the interim.
Shekher had initially approached the Madras High Court seeking anticipatory bail, after facing the prospect of being arrested for publishing derogatory posts against women journalists on social media.
A complaint against Shekher’s post was registered with the police by the Tamil Nadu Journalist and Protection Association. Among other derogatory comments against women, the Facebook post is said to have stated,
“Recently this disgusting fact has come out through complaints that women cannot become reporters or anchors unless they sleep with top bosses. and with these faces they come out to ask questions to the Governors.”
In his defence, Shekher had argued that he had posted the forwarded message unintentionally and without knowledge of the offensive content. Shekher claimed that he removed the message as soon as his attention was drawn to the condemnable nature of its content, and subsequently rendered an apology.
However, the High Court had denied his application for anticipatory bail, observing that forwarding a message on social media is tantamount to endorsing it.
In the Supreme Court, the petitioner sought protection on the ground that his house was vandalised, and stones were thrown at his residence by a group of protesters.
The petitioner was represented by Advocates Balaji Srinivasan and Venkatesh Mahadevan before the Supreme Court today.
The matter will be taken up next on June 1.