The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court here granted anticipatory bail to the Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, M. K. Alagiri, during its special sitting on Sunday, in a case relating to the alleged assault on a tahsildar.
The Keezhavalavu police here on Friday registered a case against a group of 50 persons for allegedly assaulting the tahsildar, who was also the Assistant Returning Officer for the Melur Assembly constituency.
Justice K. Venkataraman ordered that the Minister be released in the event of his arrest on execution of a bond for Rs.10,000 along with two sureties either to the satisfaction of the arresting officer or the Judicial Magistrate concerned.
The judge also directed the Minister to appear before the police for enquiry as and when required.
He rejected a request made by the petitioner's counsel to grant the advance bail without insisting on sureties. “Do you mean to say that the Minister can't even arrange for two sureties?” the judge asked the counsel. He also expressed his displeasure over moving the Minister's advance bail petition on Sunday after obtaining similar relief for three other accused in the case on Saturday.
Madurai Deputy Mayor P.M. Mannan and two other Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam functionaries V. Regupathi and M. Thirugnanam got anticipatory bail on Saturday.
The cases were heard on holidays following a specific request made by the petitioners' counsel, considering the urgency involved.
It was apprehended that the Minister might not be able to campaign for the Assembly elections, if he was arrested.