HC grants anticipatory bail to AMMK man

He referred to woman contesting rural local body poll by her caste name


The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday granted anticipatory bail to an Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) functionary, S.V.S.P. Manickaraja, who referred to a woman contesting the rural local body election by her caste name.

In his petition, Manickaraja said the case of the prosecution was that he referred to a woman candidate of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) by her caste name during an election campaign in Kayathar in Thoothukudi district.

He claimed that he did not defame the candidate nor her community. Moreover, the woman candidate herself did not want to press her charge. Seeking anticipatory bail, he said he would not evade the process of law.

After perusing the transcript of the speech delivered by the petitioner during election campaign, Justice G.R. Swaminathan observed that there was absolutely no necessity for the petitioner to refer to the community of the woman candidate.

“On a careful perusal of the transcript of the speech of the petitioner, one can come to the conclusion that in the heat of election campaign, he had displayed an element of sarcasm. There is the element of teasing in the tone of the petitioner. It cannot, however, be called an abuse,” the court said.

The court took cognisance of the fact that the woman did not want to pursue the matter. “But then, a case arising under the provisions of the SC/ST ((Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, is not a compoundable one”, the court said.

Granting anticipatory bail to the petitioner, the court said even if the complaint made by the woman was taken at its face value, the offence under the provisions of the SC/ST ((Prevention of Atrocities) Act was not made out.

The court said the arrest of the petitioner was not going to serve any purpose. However, the relief granted would not have any bearing on the investigation in the case.

After it was submitted that the petitioner would undertake to file an affidavit expressing his regret and unconditional apology, the court directed him to file two affidavits – one also to the lower court at the time of his surrender.

He should also file an affidavit through the police to the woman. Further, he should give an undertaking that in future election campaigns, he would refrain from uttering unwarranted expressions, the court said.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 12:10:59 AM |

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