A court granted bail to BJP leader S Ve Shekher, against whom a case was filed for sharing a Facebook post allegedly containing derogatory references to women journalists and the media.
Chennai Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Malarvizhigranted bail to the actor-turned-politician, when his plea came up for hearing, with a direction to him to appear before the court on July 18.
Apprehending arrest in the case, Shekher had moved the Madras High Court, seeking anticipatory bail.
The court had on May 10 dismissed it and sharply rebuked him, saying that when a celebrity like him forwards such messages, it sends a wrong message to society.
The actor then moved the Supreme Court, which on June 1 refused to grant advance bail and directed him to surrender before a judicial magistrate in court in Chennai and seek regular bail there.
On May 22, the apex court had granted interim protection from arrest till June 1 to Shekher and sought a reply from the state government, challenging the May 10 court order. It had directed that no coercive action be taken against him till then.
On June 12, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Chennai, rejected the charge sheet filed by police against Shekher and summoned him to appear before it on June 20.
An FIR was registered against Shekher by the cyber crime cell for alleged offences under various sections of the IPC, including insult intended to provoke breach of peace, gesture and words intended to insult the modesty of a woman and under provisions of Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Women Harassment Act.
He had claimed in his plea that he was not the author of the Facebook post and was not aware about its contents when he forwarded it after receiving it from a person named Tirumalai Sa.
He had also said that he had removed the post after he came to know about its content.
He had claimed in the high court that the case was lodged against him by making baseless allegations and there was not an iota of truth in these. He had also said there was no intention on his part to defame or hurt anyone.
Journalists had condemned and staged protests against Shekher for the post, which he had later deleted.