Employees, including journalists, of a Tamil weekly have moved the Madras High Court seeking anticipatory bail in connection with a defamation case filed against them and the magazine’s editor.
A total of 35 employees of the vernacular ‘Nakkheeran’ have been named as accused. The editor of the magazine, R Gopal, was arrested by police on October 9 from the Chennai airport and subsequently released by a city court.
The weekly’s website claimed Mr Gopal was arrested following a complaint from the Raj Bhavan.
The article that landed him in trouble was on a Tamil Nadu college professor who was arrested in the “sex-for-marks” scam. Nirmala Devi allegedly pushed girls into offering sexual favours to university officials in return for marks. An alleged telephone recording of her conversation with a few women students had gone viral.
Mr Gopal quoted a police officer in the article as claiming that Nirmala Devi had confessed to meeting Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who is also chancellor of the university, and R Rajagopal, the Chief Secretary to the Governor, with women students. Mr Purohit was not investigated in the case, the article claimed.
Chennai police officers said the article was offensive and defamatory.
The Governor has denied the allegations and clarified that he never met the accused professor. He has also appointed an inquiry by retired bureaucrat R Santhanam.