DMK’s Rajya Sabha MP R.S. Bharathi was arrested on Saturday (May 23) for his alleged disparaging remarks made against the Scheduled Caste community a few months ago, police said.
The 73 year-old DMK Organisation Secretary, who was picked up from his residence this morning, was later granted interim bail till June 1 by a city court after it was informed that the Madras High Court was already seized of a surrender application filed by him which is coming up for hearing on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, another DMK leader, Lok Sabha MP and former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran, moved an anticipatory bail petition in the Madras High Court, as police complaints have been filed against him for allegedly making derogatory remarks against SC community members.
Earlier, Bharathi alleged that he was being targeted for trying to expose instances of corruption in the AIADMK-led government. He was arrested for allegedly making the comments against the SC community, with a case being filed against him recently under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act based on a complaint. Bharathi said his remarks made at a DMK meeting in February had been “twisted” and said it was not reported in any newspaper while “some in the social media carried out a campaign against me.”
Speaking to reporters here, he said he had “responded” to the issue then in the media and more than 100 days had passed off since then. “Today they come to arrest me,” he said and claimed he was being targeted for exposing certain corruption issues in the government but added his party will not be cowed down.
Meanwhile, a number of DMK lawyers, including P Wilson and N R Elango, both Rajya Sabha members, submitted before principal sessions judge Selvakumar that Bharathis arrest was totally unwarranted and that too effected during the lockdown. They mentioned about Bharathis apprehended arrest in the matter and that the High Court was already seized of the surrender application filed by him which was coming up for hearing on Wednesday.
Acceding to their plea for reprieve in the mean time, sessions judge Selvakumar granted Bharathi interim bail till June 1. The Teynampet police here had registered a case against Bharathi under IPC provisions besides that of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, based on a complaint by Athi Tamilar Makkal Katchi leader Kalyanasundaram. The case was later transferred to the CCB for further probe.