Madurai Court orders two-day police custody for ‘Savukku’ Shankar in ganja case

The Palanichettypatti police in Tamil Nadu’s Theni district, had booked Shankar and two of his associates under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act for illegal possession of ganja. 

BySouth First Desk

Published May 20, 2024 | 5:17 PMUpdatedMay 20, 2024 | 5:17 PM

Goondas Act on YouTuber 'Savukku' Shankar

The Special Madurai District Narcotics Control Court on Monday, 20 May, ordered controversial YouTuber ‘Savukku’ Shankar to be remanded in police custody for two days in connection with a ganja possession case.

The Theni district police had petitioned for a seven-day police custody.

Controversial YouTuber ‘Savukku’ Shankar, known for his defamatory remarks and allegations against politicians and officials, appeared before the court on Monday.

The Palanichettypatti police in Tamil Nadu’s Theni district, had booked Shankar and two of his associates under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act for illegal possession of ganja. He was subsequently arrested and remanded in judicial custody.

The police petitioned for his custody for further interrogation, leading Judge M. Chenkamalaselvan to order a medical examination of Shankar before any additional legal proceedings.

Principal Special Court for Essential Commodities and Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act Cases in Madurai on Thursday, 16 May, had scheduled a hearing for Shankar’s bail petition on Monday.

The court also heard the police’s petition seeking custody of the YouTuber, today.

Also Read: YouTuber ‘Savukku’ Shankar detained under Goondas Act by Tamil Nadu police

Cases, police raid at residence

In connection with the case, the Theni district police conducted searches at Shankar’s residence and offices in Madhuravoyal, Chennai, breaking open the lock at his house in the presence of revenue officials.

Shankar was later produced before the Metropolitan Magistrate Courts, Egmore, amid heavy police security for two separate cases filed by the city’s cybercrime wing.

He has been arrested in various cases including for making offensive remarks against women police personnel. The YouTuber was on Sunday, 12 May detained under the Goondas Act, Chennai city police said.

The piling up of cases against Shankar is being seen as witch-hunting of critics by ruling DMK government in Tamil Nadu.

‘Savukku’ Shankar has been a familiar face in Tamil social media for over a decade for his commentary on political matters and fierce criticism of the ruling DMK government and its policies.

He was arrested on 4 May after the Cybercrime Wing of the Coimbatore police acted on allegations that he made derogatory remarks against women police personnel during a recent YouTube interview.

Also Read: Tamil Nadu YouTuber ‘Savukku’ Shankar faces fresh allegations

Charges against Shankar

Shankar was initially sentenced to six months of imprisonment on 15 September 2023 for objectionable remarks against the higher judiciary and the judge. However, the Supreme Court on 12 November suspended his sentence while directing him not to make any comments or videos on court proceedings.

Savukku has several cases pending against him dating back a few years, including those under Sections 294(b), 509, and 353 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Additionally, he is accused under Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Woman Act and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

A former employee of the state vigilance and anti-corruption department, Shankar’s rise to fame was in 2008 after he shared audio recordings that allegedly revealed illicit wiretapping activities conducted by law enforcement agencies in the state.

He has relentlessly pursued corruption cases against the powerful, often producing documents that embarrassed the politicians in power in AIADMK and the DMK.

However, his outspoken nature, the cavalier manner in which he slandered people without producing evidence, and intrusion into people’s personal matters made him a prime target for the ruling government and many other politicians, bureaucrats, and policemen.

He frequently called out police misconduct on his YouTube channel, earning their ire.

A case was recently filed against Shankar for defaming Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar, who was a politician and patriarch of the Thevar community, with an alleged attempt to incite riots between communities.

Earlier, another case was taken up against Shankar following a harassment complaint by journalist Sandhya Ravishankar.

The Chennai police confirmed the case against Shankar and updated the details of one more case against him, lodged by Veeralakshmi, founder and leader of Tamilar Munnetra Padai.

(Edited by Shauqueen Mizaj)