Supreme Court stays proceedings before Madras HC in case against Tamil magazine accused of 'denigrating' TN governor

Supreme Court stayed further proceedings in a case against Tamil magazine 'Nakkheeran' for publishing articles allegedly denigrating Governor Banwarilal Purohit.

Press Trust of India July 12, 2019 17:28:41 IST
Supreme Court stays proceedings before Madras HC in case against Tamil magazine accused of 'denigrating' TN governor
  • Supreme Court stayed further proceedings in a case against Tamil magazine 'Nakkheeran' for publishing articles allegedly denigrating Governor Banwarilal Purohit

  • Bench headed by Justice SA Nazeer agreed to examine the TN government's plea against the order which stayed proceedings against the magazine and its editor

  • The arrest of the Editor under section 124 of the IPC had drawn condemnation from opposition parties led by the DMK

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed further proceedings in the Madras High Court in a case against Tamil magazine 'Nakkheeran' for publishing articles allegedly denigrating Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit.

Supreme Court stays proceedings before Madras HC in case against Tamil magazine accused of denigrating TN governor

File image of Banwarilal Purohit. PTI

A bench headed by Justice SA Nazeer agreed to examine the state government's plea against the order which stayed the proceedings against the magazine and its editor. On 4 June, the High Court had granted interim relief to Nakkheeran editor R Gopal by staying proceedings against him in the case in a lower court.

Gopal was arrested on 9 October last year, under section 124 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which relates to "assaulting President, Governor etc with intent to compel or restrain the exercise of any lawful power", triggering a controversy.

However, he had walked free within hours after a local court had rejected the police's plea for his remand and released him on a personal bond.

The case was filed on a complaint from the Raj Bhavan over the publication of a series of articles in Nakkheeran related to a woman assistant professor of a private college who allegedly asked girl students to extend sexual favours to university officials in return for marks and money.

Gopal approached the Madras High Court seeking quashing of the case. The high court had observed that it was the first case after the country's independence wherein the court has been called upon to consider whether a publication by itself will have the effect of overawing a Governor so as to prevent him from exercising his lawful powers and duties.

The scandal had come to light in April this year after an audio tape of a purported conversation between Nirmala Devi and some students surfaced. Purohit had rejected the professor's purported claim in the audio about knowing him and having access to him. Purohit insisted he did not know her.

The arrest of the Editor under section 124 of the IPC had drawn condemnation from opposition parties led by the DMK.

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