The Madras High Court on Thursday directed the police to not arrest former Information Technology Minister M. Manikandan till June 9 in a rape case booked on the basis of a complaint lodged by an actor. The court passed the interim order following an anticipatory bail petition filed by him accusing the actor of being an extortionist who lays honeytraps with the assistance of a gang.
Justice R. Subramanian granted the interim relief since an intervening application filed by the actress, to oppose the anticipatory bail plea, was not placed before him. After directing the High Court Registry to number the intervening petition and list it before the court along with the anticipatory bail plea on June 9, the judge ordered that the accused not be harassed or arrested till then.
“Keep your hands off for a week,” the judge told Government Counsel (criminal side) R. Muniyapparaj when the latter opposed grant of interim relief and apprehended that the former Minister might tamper with the evidence in the meantime. Advocate V. Raghavachari, representing the actor, also complained to the court that the accused had been sending rowdy elements to threaten her.
“I am being harassed. I am having photographs which have been circulated by this gentleman to various persons. I can share those photographs with the court in a sealed cover. It will show what type of behaviour this person has exhibited. I don’t know how these persons are elected as Ministers,” the counsel said, inviting strong objection from advocate R. R. John Sathyan, representing the former Minister.
After warning counsel to not force the court to make any observations at this stage, the judge said he was merely adjourning the matter since the intervening application had not been placed before him, and directed the prosecution to not arrest him till then.
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