Tamil media vs actors: high court adjourns hearing

Chennai : The Madras High Court Tuesday adjourned to Oct 19 the hearing on a petition filed by the Chennai Union of Journalists (CUJ) praying for direction to the city police commissioner to act on its complaint against some actors.

The adjournment was made on the request of Public Prosecutor N.R. Elango who submitted that he has no instructions from the police commissioner on the petition.

CUJ’s counsel M.K.S. Sundar had submitted that the police commissioner had acted with alacrity on a complaint filed by South India Film Artistes Association (SIFAA) while no action was taken on the complaint by various journalist bodies against some actors even five days after it was lodged with the police.

The case has its roots in a news report published by leading Tamil daily Dinamalar about some leading lights of the Tamil movie world running a prostitution racket.

The report was based on a statement by another actor, Bhuvaneswari, who was earlier arrested by city police for running a high profile sex racket from her house. The daily published an apology to the actors prominently the next day even before such a demand was made.

Angered by the Dinamalar report, however, SIFAA filed a police complaint against the daily, which resulted in the arrest and jailing of the daily’s news editor B. Lenin from his office last week.

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

In a meeting organised by SIFAA last week six actors — Vivekh, Sripriya, Vijayakumar, Arun Kumar, Satyaraj and Surya — spoke in a derogative manner about journalists and their family members.

Journalist bodies like Chennai Press Club and Madras Union of Journalists then filed a police complaint against the actors, but police are yet to take action on it.

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