No more protection from arrest, go to magistrate court for bail, SC tells S.Ve. Shekher

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NEW DELHI, JUNE 01,
The Supreme Court on Friday denied interim protection from arrest to actor-turned-politician S.Ve. Shekher for forwarding a Facebook post containing derogatory remarks about women journalists and media.
On May 22, the court provided the BJP leader protection from arrest till June 1.
But a Vacation Bench of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Mohan M. Shantanagoudar on Friday asked Mr. Shekher to appear before the magistrate court and apply for regular bail.
Charge sheet filed: T.N. govt.
This was after advocate Yogesh Kanna, for Tamil Nadu government, submitted that the State had filed a charge sheet in the case.
“If a charge sheet has been filed, it is a norm that the accused appear before the court. Go and appear before the court,” Justice Rao addressed advocate Balaji Srinivasan, appearing for Mr. Shekher.
“You are a big man… an actor,” Justice Shantanagoudar remarked at one point.
Mr. Srinivasan objected when the Bench gave him two weeks time to appear before the magistrate. Mr. Srinivasan submitted his client would appear whenever the magistrate issues summons.
Appeal against High Court order
Mr. Shekher had appealed the apex court against the Madras High Court order on May 10 refusing him the relief of anticipatory bail in the case.
The former actor had said he had no role, except forwarding the post, of which he had not even read the contents. He said his action of forwarding the post was based on a “bona fide impression and over-confidence.”
An FIR was registered against him by the Cyber Crime cell for various offences, including insult intended to provoke breach of peace, gesture and words intended to insult the modesty of a woman and under provisions of Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Women Harassment Act.
He had claimed in the High Court that the case was anchored to baseless allegations. He had also said there was no intention on his part to defame or hurt anyone.
Row involving Governor
Mr. Shekher’s forwarding of the Facebook post came in the light of a row involving Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit.
The 78-year-old Governor had patted on the cheek of a woman journalist during the conclusion of a press meet in Chennai, apparently to avoid queries posed by her.
The incident triggered a furore, with political parties, including the DMK, calling for his removal as Governor. Mr. Purohit later apologised to the woman scribe.

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