SC dismisses TN govt's plea for police custody of singer

New Delhi, Nov 30: The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea of the Tamil Nadu government seeking two-day police custody of ultra-Left folk singer Kovan, who was granted relief by the Madras High Court in a sedition case.

A bench comprising Justices FMI Kalifulla and U U Lalit did not find any merit in the state government's appeal seeking police custody of Kovan. The state government had challenged the high court order which had stayed the remand of Kovan to police custody.

Supreme Court

54-year-old Kovan, propagandist singer of ultra-Left arts and literary outfit 'Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kazhagam', was arrested in Tiruchirapalli on Oct 30 for alleged sedition, uploading "defamatory" electronic content against Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and "disturbing public peace".

On November 7, the Madras High Court had stayed a local court order remanding Kovan to police custody for two days, saying it was 'erroneous'.

The high court had passed the interim direction at a special hearing on a petition by the singer, challenging Chief Judicial Magistrate Court's Nov 6 order.

The alleged defamatory content in the form of videos were uploaded on some Tamil websites which had gone viral in messaging mediums like Whatsapp.

The content, though centred around the liquor vending policy of the Tamil Nadu government, allegedly had direct references to Jayalalithaa, showing her in a bad light.

The HC had said a perusal of the papers revealed that in permitting two-day custody to Kovan, the primary concern of the lower court had been the need to probe any link with the Naxals.


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