The Madras High Court has decided to pass orders on Saturday on a plea by Central Crime Branch (CCB), attached to Greater Chennai police, to cancel the interim bail granted by a lower court to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam organising secretary R.S. Bharathi in a case booked under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989.

Justice M. Nirmal Kumar took the decision after hearing elaborate arguments advanced by senior counsel R. Shunmugasundaram for the accused and State Public Prosecutor A. Natarajan. Mr. Bharathi, also a Rajya Sabha member, had been booked for reportedly claiming that some from the Scheduled Castes became judges because of alms provided by DMK patriarch Karunanidhi.

The SPP told the judge that the lower court had found prima facie case against the accused when he was arrested and produced before the court on May 23 for remanding him to judicial custody. The court also passed an order remanding the accused till June 5, yet it granted interim bail by citing the threat perception due to COVID-19, he said and sought to cancel the relief.

Mr. Natarajan contended that the interim bail ought not to have been granted when the accused himself had not preferred any bail application. Further, the complainant was also not heard before granting the relief, he said. On the other hand, it was argued on behalf of the accused that he had no intention to speak ill about any caste group much less the Scheduled Castes.

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