The Madras Reporters Guild has demanded the immediate release of writer Badri Seshadri, who was on Saturday arrested for allegedly making derogatory remarks about the judiciary, PTI reported.

Seshadri had made the remarks about the judiciary and Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud during an interview uploaded on a YouTube channel. A lawyer based in the Perambalur district, Kaviyarasu, had filed the police complaint on the basis of which he was arrested.

Seshadri was on Saturday remanded to judicial custody till August 11.

The Madras Reporters Guild said that there was no need to arrest the writer for his comments, no matter how unpalatable or derogatory they may be. It said that the government had the option to file a case and let the law take its course, rather than take recourse to arrest.

The guild said that such arrests come in the way of freedom of speech and expression, and civil liberties. “Arrest should be the last resort and only on the basis of final court judgements after the due legal process has been followed,” it said.

The Madras Reporters Guild urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin to facilitate Seshadri’s immediate release and to direct the police not to arrest people for comments on current affairs.

On Saturday, Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai also criticised the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam for Seshadri’s arrest

“The DMK [Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam] government is unable to respond to the opinions of ordinary people and is resorting to arrests,” he said. “Does the police department think that implementing the vengeful agenda of the corrupt DMK is their only job?”

Seshadri was booked under Sections 153 (provocation with the intent to cause rioting), 153A (promoting enmity) and 505(1) (b) (statement conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.