The Madras High Court Bench here on Saturday granted anticipatory bail to Madurai Deputy Mayor P.M. Mannan and two other Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam functionaries V. Regupathi and M. Thirugnanam in a case registered against them and Union Minister M.K. Alagiri by Keezhavazhavu police on Friday for allegedly assaulting a Tahsildar who is also the Assistant Returning Officer for Melur Assembly segment.

Justice K. Venkataraman granted the bail on condition that the trio should appear before the police for enquiry as and when required.

Mr. Azhagiri's name did not figure in the anticipatory bail application though he is the first accused in the First Information Report filed by the police after a group of 50 DMK workers allegedly entered into an altercation with officials who were scrutinising the Union Minister's visit to a temple near Keezhavazhavu.

The bail application was taken up for hearing as a special case despite Saturday being a holiday for the High Court. A handful of court officials required for numbering the case, taking down dictation and issuing a certified order copy were summoned over phone and the proceedings held at Court Hall No.4.

Mr. Justice Venkataraman heard the matter around 10.15 a.m., 15 minutes earlier than the beginning of regular court hours, and granted bail.

According to the petitioners, they were booked under sections 143 (punishment for being a member of an unlawful assembly), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from doing his duty) and 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code.

The filing of the advance bail application was kept a secret fearing the intervention of the Tamil Nadu Revenue Officials' Association, which is up in arms following the attack.

They allegedly assaulted an Assistant Returning Officer