Media vs actors: Journalists' union to move apex court

Chennai : The Chennai Union of Journalists (CUJ) plans to move the Supreme Court after its petition in the Madras High Court seeking action by the police on its complaint against several actors for making derogatory remarks against them and their family members was dismissed Monday.

“The public prosecutor told the court that Chennai police commissioner has enquired from the the complainants and closed the file as a ‘mistake of facts’. The judge dismissed our petition,” M.K.S.Sundar, counsel for CUJ, told IANS.

V.Anbazhagan, president, CUJ told IANS: “The next step is to move the Supreme Court with a a Special Leave Petition (SLP) under Article 32 of the Constitution.”

According to Sundar, the Article 32 provides for the Fundamental Rights of citizens which includes freedom of expression.

“We will be moving the court tomorrow (Tuesday) or the day after (Wedenesday),” he added.

The Tamil Nadu media and the actors are at logger heads 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.

The daily, however, published an apology to the actors prominently the next day but angered by the report, the South India Film Artistes Association (SIFAA) filed a police complaint against the daily. This led to 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 journalists’ 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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