Facing Arrest For 'Hate Post' On Women, BJP Leader Gets Relief From Court

Tamil Nadu BJP leader Sve Shekher Venkataraman provoked anger after sharing a Facebook post that disparaged women journalists

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Facing Arrest For 'Hate Post' On Women, BJP Leader Gets Relief From Court

Sve Shekher, a former AIADMK lawmaker, says he deleted the post and apologised.


New Delhi:  Actor-playwright and BJP leader Sve Shekher Venkataraman, who forwarded a misogynistic post about woman journalists, got some relief from the Supreme Court today.

Sve Shekhar was facing arrest after his Facebook post infuriated people on social media. The post, which he later deleted, abused women journalists, saying they are illiterate, stupid and ugly, and accused them of getting ahead in their profession by granting sexual favours.

It contained equally derogatory comments about the young woman journalist who had objected after she was patted on the cheek by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit at an official programme. The woman journalist, the post said, only intended to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Governor "should wash his hands with phenyl" for touching her.

The leader's defence - that he had forwarded the post without reading its contents - failed to placate the state's women activists and politicians like DMK's Kanimozhi, who demanded his immediate arrest. A case was lodged against him following a complaint by the Tamil Nadu Journalist Protection Welfare Association.

The Madras High Court, where he appealed for anticipatory bail, refused to grant it. In its order, the court said forwarding a message on social media, be it read or not, amounted to accepting and endorsing it. Justice S Ramathilagam said a post like that would "send a wrong message to the society at a time when we are talking about women empowerment" since a celebrity has a huge following.

The top court today warded off the possibility of any immediate arrest and issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu police after Sve Shekhar's lawyer argued that his client just forwarded the message, and later deleted it and apologised.


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