Covid vaccination: HC grants advance bail to actor who made controversial remarks

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Chennai, Apr 29 (PTI) Tamil actor Mansoor Ali Khan, booked by the police recently for his controversial remarks against Covid-19 vaccination, was granted advance bail by the Madras High Court on Thursday.

It directed him to financially contribute towards the government's vaccine procurement.

Justice M Dhandapani, who granted the relief, said Khan should issue a demand draft for Rs two lakh in favour of the government to assist in its efforts to procure Covid-19 vaccines.

Khan should restrain himself from spreading any misinformation about the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines, the judge added.

The charge against Khan was that he had created a flutter at a hospital, where top comedian Vivekh died due to cardiac arrest on April 17, by making some controversial remarks allegedly with regard to the Covid-19 vaccine.

Following a complaint lodged by a health officer attached to the Greater Chennai Corporation, the Vadapalani police registered a case against the actor for offences such as 'wantonly giving provocation,' and 'intent to cause fear to the public' under the Indian Penal Code.

The police had also invoked the provisions of the Epidemics and Disaster Management Act.

The actor submitted his statement at the hospital after Vivekh's death was spontaneous and an emotional outburst.

It was not intended to hurt anyone. He did not talk about the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines or its necessity, he added.

His earlier anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the Principal Sessions Judge on technical grounds, on April 21.

Vivekh had suffered a cardiac arrest on May 16, a day after he was administered with COVID-19 vaccination at a government hospital here, prompting a debate over the safety of the dose.

However, authorities had insisted that his illness had nothing to do with the vaccination. PTI CORR SA ROH ROH