Chennai, May 23, 2020 : The Chennai police on Saturday arrested DMK organising secretary and member of Parliament R S Bharathi from his residence in Alandur in suburban Chennai in an early morning swoop for allegedly derogatory remarks he made against Dalit judges. He was produced before a local metropolitan magistrate through video-conference.
Noting that it was related to an old case and the issue was pending before the Madras High Court, the magistrate granted interim bail and said it could be regularised in the next hearing.
Calling it an act of vendetta by the AIADMK Government to divert attention from its failure to contain the ravaging Covid pandemic, DMK president M K Stalin called a meeting of top office-bearers on Monday to consider the next course of action.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami said the Government had nothing to do with it and the police had acted on a complaint by an aggrieved Dalit.
The case related to a comment made by Bharathi at an indoor meeting of the party on Feb 25 that Dalit judges owned their position to the DMK which fought for their uplift.
Acting on a complaint by a little known Dalit leader, the city police registered a case against Bharathi under IPC sections relating to atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Tribes.
Bharathi said his remarks made at the indoor party meeting had been torn out of context and the Government had used it as a pretext to register a criminal case as he had alleged corruption in the procurement of covid testing kits from Korea.
Bharathi has already moved the Madras High Court to quash the FIR and grant interim bail till he surrenders before the principal sessions court. The petition is coming up for hearing on May 27.
Stalin said the Government had arrested Bharathi and made his petition before the high court infructuous.