Media vs actors: Court asks police to reply by Oct 23

Chennai : The Madras High Court Monday asked the Chennai police to file its report by Oct 23 while adjourning a case filed by Chennai Union of Journalists (CUJ) seeking action by the city police commissioner on its complaint against several actors for making derogatory remarks against them and their family members.

“The case was heard by Justice C.T. Selvam. Public Prosecutor Durairaj pleaded that he has no instruction from the police commissioner and wanted one week’s time. When pointed out to the court that the police acted with alacrity in arresting a news editor but is lethargic in acting on my client’s complaint, the judge passed the order,” M.K.S. Sundar, the counsel for CUJ, told IANS.

He also noted that one week’s time has already been given to the city police to file its response.

Meanwhile, the CUJ is planning to file an application under the Right to Information Act to get the necessary documents from the city police that have a bearing on their case.

The issue arose after a news report was published by leading Tamil daily Dinamalar earlier this month about some leading lights of Tamil movie world running a prostitution racket, based on a statement by another actor Bhuvaneswari who was earlier arrested by the city police for running a high profile sex racket from her house.

However the daily published an apology to the actors prominently the next day even before such a demand was made.

Angered by the report, South India Film Artistes Association (SIFAA) filed a police complaint against the daily which resulted in the arrest of the daily’s News Editor B. Lenin from his office.

He was booked under Section 4 of Tamil Nadu Women Harassment (Prevention) Act – a law enacted for an entirely different purpose – and was let out on bail last Friday.

In a meeting organised by SIFAA, six actors – Vivekh, Sripriya, Vijayakumar, Arun Kumar, Satyaraj and Surya – allegedly made derogatory remarks about journalists and their family members, following which journalist organisations like the Chennai Press Club and CUJ filed a police complaint against the actors.

The journalists approached the court after the police reportedly took no action on their complaint.

Meanwhile, wives of two journalists and six reporters have filed a private complaint under Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Code in a local court against the actors. The hearing on the case is slated for Nov 13.

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