The Egmore magistrate's court refused to remand Nakkeeran Gopal, editor of the tamil bi-weekly 'Nakkeeran', who was arrested by the Chennai City Police on Tuesday morning, ANI reported.
The journalist had been arrested on a complaint filed by state governor Banwarilal Purohit's office accusing the publication and its editor of defamation for publishing reports about an alleged university sex scandal.
#UPDATE: The Magistrate refuses to remand Nakkeeran Gopal, Chief Editor of Tamil magazine Nakkeeran, to judicial custody. He was arrested after a complaint was filed against him by Raj Bhavan over publication's reportage on Nirmala Devi case. #TamilNadupic.twitter.com/R3GDqzk4EY— ANI (@ANI) October 9, 2018
An Indian Express reporter tweeted that the court questioned Section 124 imposed on the journalist and asked why he was arrested now for a report published in April 2018.
ANI quoted Gopal as saying that "the court has judged well".
It's a victory. It's a slap on Raj Bhavan. It's also for spineless Tamil Nadu govt which acted upon governor's wish. The court has judged well: Nakkeeran Gopal, Chief Editor of Tamil magazine Nakkeeran after request for his judicial custody was turned down by Court. #TamilNadupic.twitter.com/rgNXD9miTX— ANI (@ANI) October 9, 2018
A police officer told The Indian Expressthat there were reports in Nakkeeran linking Governor Purohit and his office to the scandal. The reports, according to the police, referred to several visits made by Nirmala Devi, an assistant professor of Devanga Arts College in Aruppukottai in Virudhunagar district, to Raj Bhavan. Devi is the main accused in what has been also called as the 'sex-for-marks' scam.
Devi, who was arrested in April, is accused of pushing girls to offer sexual favours to university officials in exchange of marks. A purported telephone recording of her conversation with a few women students went viral early this year, according to the newspaper.
In an article, the biweekly's editor quoted a police officer as claiming that Devi had confessed to meeting the Governor, who is also the chancellor of the university, as well as R Rajagopal, the Chief Secretary to the Governor, with female students. Banwarilal Purohit was not investigated in the case, an article in the magazine claimed. The governor has denied these allegations and appointed retired bureaucrat R Santhanam to look into the claims, according to an NDTV report.