Tirunelveli district principal sessions court on Friday granted bail to Tamil orator Nellai Kannan, who was arrested for making an inflammatory speech against Prime Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit shah during an anti CAA protest meet. He was sent to judicial custody after police booked him under five sections, and the matter came up for hearing on Friday.
Earlier in the day, the Madras High Court directed the Tamil Nadu Government to file a counter to a plea filed by Tamil orator Nellai Kannan seeking quashing of the FIR registered against him for alleged provocative remarks.
Justice Jagadeesh Chandra posted the case for hearing on January 20, after the government advocate strongly objected to the petition seeking quashing of the case.
In his plea, Kannan alleged that police filed the FIR without conducting any preliminary investigation as mandated by the Supreme Court. He claimed that the case was entirely misconceived as he was using a colloquial term in his speech and it was not his intention to hurt any community or religious group but only to voice for the aggrieved sections.
On January 1, Kannan was arrested by Perambalur district police. After the FIR was filed against Kannan by the police, he got admitted to a hospital complaining of chest pain. However, he was later arrested by the Perambalur district police have arrested him.
He was arrested for making a very controversial speech during an SDPI meeting in Thirunelveli where he talked about finishing off Home Minister Amit Shah and wondered why Muslims haven't done it yet. He was booked under 5 sections including section 504 for provocation with intent to disturb public peace, 505(1) for circulating rumors which creates a rift between groups, 505(2) making statements with intent to cause fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public.
Backing the artist in a series of tweets, former Home Minister P Chidambaram had said, "New norms are being brought where even making a speech is also a crime. Even if the speech was a crime, why should one be sent to 14 days judicial custody? These people (people who think making a speech is a crime) should be sent to London's Hyde Park. They have to hear what is being spoken there. It's crime only if words turn into action. Let's agree that Nellai Kannan spoke. But what crime did he commit?"