The anticipatory bail application of actor-turned-politician S. Ve. Shekhar was rejected by Madras High Court on Thursday. S. Ve. Shekhar had shared a derogatory post about women journalists.
Facts of the Case
The Facebook post titled Madurai University, Governor and virgin woman’s cheeks came after a female correspondent of English magazine accused the Governor of Tamil Nadu of touching her inappropriately. BJP party member Mr. S. Ve. Shekhar had shared the same facebook post which used harsh words and portrayed all working women in bad light. Actor turned politician before sharing the post, wrote that “I feel pity while looking at that woman journalist. She claims she was disturbed because the governor touched her. But when you read her tweets, it is understood that her intention was to target the Governor and Modi. It is actually the governor who has to wash his hands with Phenyl 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.” Facebook post in question alleged that women journalists sleep with top bosses to get top positions.
- Ve. Shekhar moved to Madras High Court in April seeking anticipatory bail after being booked by the Cyber Crime Cell of the Central Crime Branch in Chennai. Shekhar was booked under section 504 and section 505(1) (c), section 509 and section 509 and section 4 of Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Women Harassment Act and Indian Penal Code. Mr. Shekhar in his defence quotes that he does not endorse the views expressed in the said message and is totally upset as he himself is from a family that respects women and women journalists.
The decision of the Court
Justice S. Ramathilagam rejected his application for anticipatory bail and said that “What is said is important but who has said it is very important in a society because people respect persons for the social status. When a celebrity forwards a message like this, the common people will start to believe it.”
“This would send a wrong message to the society at a time when we are talking about women empowerment. The language and words used are not indirect but a direct abusive foul language which is not expected from a person of his calibre and age.” The judge further added that “Daily we see young emotional boys getting arrested for doing these type of activities in the social media. Law is the same for everyone and people should not lose faith in the judiciary. Mistakes and crimes are not same. Only children can make mistakes which can be pardoned. If the same is done by elderly people, it becomes an offence.”
The post was deleted after it was realized that it created a massive storm but some journalist had already shared it on social media platforms condemning it vehemently.
Learning of the Case
From this case, we learn that Law is same for everyone and no one can get away after breaking the law that the message forwarded on social media amounts to accepting and endorsing it.