The Supreme Court has stayed proceedings initiated against Tamil magazine editor Nakkeeran Gopal by the Madras High Court, after his arrest in March this year. Nakkeeran Gopal had been arrested under Section 124 of the Indian Penal Code after an article on Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit in his magazine Nakkeeran. This section pertains to assaulting the President or Governor with intent to compel or restrain exercise of any lawful power.
According to a report in The Hindu, a Bench of Justices SA Nazeer and R Subhash Reddy sought the response of the magazine and its editor in order to examine the Tamil Nadu government's objections to the stay order of the Madras High Court. Earlier this month, the Madras High Court stayed proceedings pending before the II Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore, against Nakkeeran Gopal and his employees.
Gopal was arrested in October last year but was granted bail shortly thereafter. The cover story of the Nakkeeran magazine's September edition showed the pictures of Nirmala Devi, an accused in the 'sex for cash' scam and the Governor. The cover said that Nirmala Devi had told CB-CID, which is investigating the case, that she had met the Governor four times. The story had questioned why the Governor has not been made part of the inquiry.
Nirmala Devi, an assistant professor in Devangar Arts College in Virudhunagar district, was arrested after four students complained that she tried to lure them to provide sexual favours to the officers. The students also submitted audio recordings of their conversations with Nirmala Devi. In the recordings, Nirmala Devi had claimed that she knew several high-level officers including the Governor.
According to the newspaper, Attorney General KK Venugopal appeared for the Tamil Nadu government and stated that the Governor had been 'subjected to scurrilous attacks by the reports published in the magazineā.