The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court granted anticipatory bail to Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) president Kamal Haasan. Justice B Pugalendhi passed the order on the anticipatory bail petition filed by the MNM leader who was apprehending arrest on an FIR filed against him for making controversial statements during an election campaign in Aravakurichi constituency.
The politician was directed to appear before the concerned judicial magistrate within 15 days to provide surety. The Aravakurichi police, on May 14, had registered an FIR against Haasan under sections 153A (outraging religious feelings) and 295A (promoting enmity between different groups) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) after he, during an election campaign in the bypoll bound Aravakurichi constituency on May 12, had reportedly stated that “free India’s first extremist was a Hindu” by referring to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse.
However Hassan contended in his petition that his speech was about Mahatma Gandhi’s assasin Nathuram Godse and not about the Hindus as a whole. He further stated that the FIR filed against him was ill founded as it has been filed based on hearsay and the source of information has also not been disclosed. Stating that a political issue has been created to his malign through the case, Haasan prayed the Court to grant him anticipatory bail.