Two days after he was booked under four sections by the Chennai Cyber Crime department, Tamil Nadu BJP State Secretary S Ve Shekher has applied for anticipatory bail at the Madras High Court on Monday.
Shekher states in his petition, "I did not have the slightest intention to remark with bad intention on women or have any ulterior motive to disrespect the journalist community. I forwarded the news I got just as I generally publicly share news from social media. I didn't do any other mistake than forward the news under question."
Shekher also stated that he was willing to accept any conditions that the court may lay while granting him bail.
On April 19, S Ve Shekher shared a Facebook post, written by his friend Thirumalai Sa, which contained derogatory comments on women in media, alleging that they had to "sleep around" for work. The post by Thirumalai Sa was written in response to the controversy over TN governor Banwarilal Purohit patting a woman journalist's cheek at a press meet called to address his alleged role in the sex-for-cash university scandal which has shaken up Tamil Nadu. However, the headline of the post, which read ‘Madurai University, the Governor and a virgin girl’s cheek’ was S Ve Shekher’s own. He had endorsed the post with three thumbs-up emojis and four Indian flag emojis.
On Friday, Tamil Nadu Journalist Protection Welfare Association lodged a complaint with the Chennai Police Commissioner.
Shekher was booked by the Chennai Cyber Crime department under Indian Penal Code Section 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), Section 505 (1) (c) (Statements conducing to public mischief: Whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report with intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community), Section 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Women Harassment Act (Penalty for harassment of woman).
It was widely reported on Saturday evening that S Ve Shekher was absconding to avoid arrest.
The petition for anticipatory bail is soon to be taken up by Justice Jagdish Chandra.