Chennai Cyber Crime Police summoned Gopal, the editor of the Tamil bi-weekly Nakkeeran on Friday. The summons was based on a complaint by Pollachi MLA and Tamil Nadu Deputy Speaker Pollachi Jayaraman who alleged that Gopal was defaming him. This after the journalist released a 24-minute-long video allegedly linking him (Pollachi Jayaraman) and his sons to the sexual assault and extortion of a 19-year-old college student from Tamil Nadu’s Pollachi town.
Sivakumar, Gopal’s legal counsel, appeared before the Cyber Crime Police on Friday in his stead, explaining that the editor was out of town. Speaking to media persons outside the Old Commissioner’s office, he stated that the summons to Gopal would not stand legal scrutiny.
“The complaint states that Nakkeeran Gopal spreads defamatory messages about him (MLA Pollachi Jayaraman) and his family. If it is really defamatory, he can only seek legal recourse by filing a case of defamation or seeking compensation,” said Sivakumar, pointing out that the case had first been transferred to the CB-CID and the government had subsequently transferred it to the CBI.
“At a time when they are both investigating, it raises suspicion when a case is filed in Chennai (on Nakkeeran Gopal). We have told them to withdraw the summons since it will not stand legal scrutiny,” he said.
The lawyer also informed the press that the CCB had taken their submission to withdraw the summons and that they would inform them of the next course of action. However, he added, “They (the CCB) have informed us that no FIR has been filed. I was not given the complaint copy. They are saying that there is a complaint. We have not seen it.”
On March 11, Nakkeeran Gopal, in a video, alleged the involvement of Tamil Nadu Deputy Speaker Pollachi Jayaraman’s sons in the sexual assault and extortion network. While MLA Pollachi Jayaraman has repeatedly denied any link to the crime, ‘Bar’ Nagaraj, an AIADMK functionary at the time of the crime is connected to the gang. He assaulted the survivor’s brother following which he was arrested and subsequently let out on bail. On Monday, the AIADMK had sacked him.
In addition to Nakkeeran Gopal, Pollachi Jayaraman has also filed a complaint against businessman Sabareesan, the son-in-law of DMK President MK Stalin. Calling it a DMK conspiracy, Jayaraman had alleged on Monday that Sabareesan had instigated the controversy that linked his sons to the crime. In response, Sabareesan sent a legal notice to the lawmaker, seeking a public apology and a retraction of the claims in addition to a donation of Rs 50,000 to a charity of the businessman’s choosing.