The Madras High Court passed an interim order on Friday not to arrest Sarkar director AR Murugadoss until November 27.
In heightening tensions over the Vijay-starrer film that has rankled the ruling dispensation in the state, its director AR Murugadoss had sought anticipatory bail from the Madras High Court.
Apprehending arrest at the hands of the Chennai police in connection with alleged offences under Sections 124A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code, Murugadoss had said in his plea that as a filmmaker, he holds a social responsibility.
"All the movies directed by him will portray an depiction of the same prevailing social scenario in the politics," (sic) his counsel pleaded.
Stating that his right to address and highlight social views in films is a guaranteed by the constitution under Article 19(1)(a), the plea stated that he is also allowed the promotion of "advocacy or ideas as well discussion of one's own ideas."
The plea further said, "Therefore the act of (Murugadoss) by any of imagination would not amounts to an offence as alleged by the prosecution" (sic)
Murugadoss' plea came hours after confusion over police presence at his house.
A tweet by Sun Pictures, the producers of the film, claimed late on Thursday night that the Chennai police was on its way to arrest Murugadoss. However, police officials told TNM that regular patrol officers who were posted in the area were on their regular beat movement. They denied that attempts had been made to arrest the filmmaker.
BREAKING NEWS : Police reach Director A.R.Murugadoss residence to arrest him.— Sun Pictures (@sunpictures) November 8, 2018
Sun Pictures also tweeted a follow-up to last night's events alleging that police officials had left Murugadoss' residence upon enquiring about his whereabouts.
After enquiring about A.R.Murugadoss’ whereabouts police have left his residence since he was not there.— Sun Pictures (@sunpictures) November 8, 2018
Shortly after, the director himself tweeted saying, “Police had come to my house late tonight and banged the door several times. Since I was not there they left the premises. Right now I was told there is no police outside my house.”
Police had come to my house late tonight and banged the door several times.Since I was not there they left the premises. Right now I was told there is no police outside my house.— A.R.Murugadoss (@ARMurugadoss) November 8, 2018
Thursday night’s drama came after a day of protests over the film by AIADMK members. In Madurai, AIADMK MLA and former Mayor VV Rajan Chellappa launched a protest in front of a multiplex, demanding that the film not be screened until controversial scenes are removed from it.
On the other hand, G Devarajan, a social activist, filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Police in Chennai requesting a case of sedition be filed against the director.
“It pained me to watch the scene in which AR Murugadoss threw the free mixie and grinders into the fire in the movie Sarkar. The things that he threw into the fire were properties (symbols) of the government. This scene was shot with an intention to insult Tamil Nadu government,” read the complaint.