A court on Monday granted bail to ultra-Left propadandist folk singer Kovan who was arrested on October 30 for alleged sedition. Granting him bail, Principal Sessions Judge N Audinathan observed during the hearing that the case was not one of defamation.
The judge directed Kovan to appear before the Investigation Officer as and when required and also to furnish a personal bond of Rs 5,000 with two sureties of like sum.
54-year-old Kovan, propagandist singer of ultra-Left arts and literary outfit ‘Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kazhagam’, was arrested in Tiruchirapalli on October 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 two days police custody, saying it was ‘erroneous.’ Justice C T Selvam had passed the interim direction at a special hearing at his residence on a petition by the singer, challenging Chief Judicial Magistrate Court’s November 6 order. The allegedly defamatory content in the form of videos were uploaded on some Tamil websites and had also gone viral in messaging mediums like Whatsapp.
The content, though centred over the liquor vending policy of Tamil Nadu government, allegedly had direct references to Jayalalithaa 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 Naxals.
The singer had vowed to continue his struggle against Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC), which has a monopoly over wholesale and retail vending of alcoholic beverages.
“I’ll continue my struggle against TASMAC till I reach my goal, nobody can stop me,” he told media while being taken to a prison after the court ended his police custody and sent him to judicial custody.
Kovan, 52, was picked up from his house at Maruthanda Kurichi near Trichy after his video went viral on social media. He was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including Section 124-A (sedition).