Justice P Rajamanickam, who heard the case on Tuesday, observed that there was no need to investigate the 'Kaala' director under police custody.

Raja Raja Chozhan row Madras HC grants director Pa Ranjith anticipatory bail
news Court Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 16:46

In what can be considered as a win for freedom of speech and relief for director Pa Ranjith in the Raja Raja Chozhan row, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has granted him anticipatory bail. Justice P Rajamanickam who heard the case on Tuesday observed that there was no need to investigate the Kaala director under police custody.

While the Justice granted the bail on the condition that Ranjith should refrain from making statements that stoked controversies in the future, he also added that if he did so, a case to cancel his bail could be pursued in the Magistrate Court.

Ranjith had filed an anticipatory bail plea on June 12. The director's counsel argued during the first hearing that the speech was based on research from published books and that it was not aimed at creating enmity between communities.

Meanwhile, his petition to quash the case registered by the Thiruppanandal police on June 11 based on a complaint from Ka Bala, former Thanjavur district secretary of the Hindu Makkal Katchi will be heard on July 8.

On Tuesday, Ranjith’s counsel had argued that while there was no law and order situation since his speech was made, a case was filed six days later on June 11. Citing freedom of speech, his counsel asked for the case to be rejected.

Justice Barathidasan in response said that freedom of speech had its limits and asked for proof that Raja Raja Chozhan had taken away lands from Dalits. He further directed the Thiruppanandhal police to file a response petition with documentary evidence by the next hearing.

Director Pa Ranjith's speech from June 5 at Thiruppanandal near Kumbakonam during an event organised by the Blue Tigers Party (Neela Puligal Iyakkam) to commemorate the death anniversary of Umar Farooq, its founder, went viral with many criticising the director for his statements made on the historical ruler.

In his bail plea, Ranjith had written, “As a chief guest at the event, I only spoke some of the truths about King Raja Raja Chozhan. How to remove casteism? How to create a casteless society? I spoke about all these, including the plight of landless people, especially those from the delta regions mentioned in Umar Farooq’s Senthamizh Naatu Cherigal.”

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