BJP functionary S.Ve. Shekher has moved the Madras High Court seeking anticipatory bail in a case booked against him by the Cyber Crime Cell of the Central Crime Branch, Chennai, for having shared a derogatory post about women journalists on his Facebook page on April 19.
In an affidavit filed in support of the petition, Mr. Shekher claimed to have shared the Facebook post inadvertently without reading it. “In fact, it has put me to mental anguish and I am totally upset. I don’t endorse the views expressed in the said message since I am also from a family that respects women and women journalists,” he said.
According to him, one S. Thirumalai, who usually forwards patriotic and spiritual messages, had sent the post to him. Therefore, “I had forwarded the said message without reading the content and knowing the nature of the message,” the affidavit claimed. Stating that he deleted the post immediately after coming to know that it contained “abusive and condemnable” statements, the petitioner said that some “mischievous people” were nonetheless sharing screenshots of the post to humiliate him due to personal vendetta and to wreak political vengeance.
“By way of a letter and a social media post, I have tendered my apology even though I am not personally responsible for the said wrong, and yet, a gang claiming to be journalists attacked my house with stones and iron rods,” he said.
Contending that there was no mens rea on his part to commit any of the offences for which he had been booked, the petitioner said that he wanted the issue to be resolved through the acceptance of the unconditional apology tendered by him. Nevertheless, apprehending that the police might arrest him in the meantime, he pleaded with the court for advance bail.
A case has been filed by the Dalit Pandian of Indian Republic Party (Athvale) in the Chief Judicial Magistrate (II) Court, Karur, against S.Ve. Shekher for sharing a Facebook post defaming women journalists.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, who accepted the petition, posted the case for hearing on Tuesday.