Rajya Sabha MP and DMK leader RS Bharathi was arrested in Chennai by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of the city police from his residence on Saturday for allegedly making derogatory remarks against marginalised communities and a Madras High Court judge in a speech made in February.
The DMK Organisation Secretary, was later granted interim bail till June 1 by a city court in the state capital.
Chennai Police registered a case against Bharathi under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 and certain provisions of IPC based on a complaint by Athi Tamilar Makkal Katchi leader Kalyanasundaram.
The 73 year-old DMK MP alleged that he was being targeted by AIADMK-led state government as he is trying to expose them for corruption in the purchases of COVID-19 supplies.
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.”
Bharati was taken to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital for medical tests. There while speaking to journalists he said, “The government has arrested me because I lodged a complaint yesterday against Deputy CM O Panneerselvam for corruption. We are now preparing to lodge a complaint about irregularities in the purchase of bleaching powder in Coimbatore for about Rs 200 crore.”
“The wedding won’t stop if you hide the comb. Even if I am in prison, our team of lawyers will make sure the complaint is lodged against the government, ” he added.
In his ‘inflammatory speech’ made in February, the lawmaker had said that some judges got promoted to the Madras HC as alms provided by the Dravidian movement.
“In Tamil Nadu, after Kalaignar (Karunanidhi) became the chief minister, he appointed S Varadharajan as High Court judge followed by many others. These appointments are alms provided by the Dravidian government,” Bharati was quoted by The Indian Express as saying.
Meanwhile, a number of DMK lawyers, including P Wilson and N R Elango, both Rajya Sabha members, submitted before principal sessions judge Selvakumar that Bharathi’s arrest was totally ‘unwarranted’ and that too effected during the lockdown.
They mentioned about Bharathi’s 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, following which he was granted relief by the judge.