BJP leader S Ve Shekher sentenced to a month in jail for offensive post on women journos

In 2018, the then Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit patted the cheek of a woman journalist and was slammed for it. Shekher had then shared a post on Facebook with offensive remarks on it.
S Ve Shekher
S Ve Shekher
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A Chennai court on Monday, February 19, awarded one month imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 on senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former MLA S Ve Shekher, in relation to a case booked against him for sharing an offensive social media post against women journalists. Though Shekher paid the fine, he submitted a petition in the court stating that he will appeal in the High Court against the sentence, following which the sentence has been stayed.

Chennai Special Court judge G Jayavel, while passing the order, observed that the crime has been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

In April 2018, the then Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit patted the cheek of a woman journalist and subsequently apologized for it. However, Shekar had shared a post on Facebook with derogatory and abusive comments about women journalists, for which he was booked by the police based on a complaint by the Tamil Nadu Journalist Protection Welfare Association. Though Shekher went to the Madurai bench of Madras High Court seeking to quash the case, the court refused to do so.

The post by Thirumalai Sa, Shekher’s friend, without naming the woman journalist in the incident said that her intention was to ‘target the Governor and Modi’. “It is actually the governor who has to wash his hands with Phenol after touching her. These (TN media persons) are cheap and disgusting creatures. Most people who work in the media in TN are usually Illiterate, cheap and don't have any general knowledge. This woman is not any different." The post also went on to accuse all women journalists in Tamil Nadu of sleeping around. "Recently this disgusting fact has come out through complaints that women cannot become reporters or anchors unless they sleep with top bosses. And with these faces, they come out to ask questions to the governor," it had stated.

The post was shared by Shekher with the tagline ‘Madurai University, the Governor and a virgin girl’s cheek’, along with three thumbs-up emojis and four Indian flag emojis. After the issue sparked a major controversy, Shekher apologised and claimed, “The post was forwarded from Thirumalai Sa and I forwarded it without reading it. I do not endorse the views of the post. I come from a family that respects women and women journalists”.

Shekher was booked under sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 505 (1) (c) (statements conducing to public mischief), and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 4 (penalty for harassment of woman) of Tamil Nadu prohibition of women harassment act.

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