The Madras High Court on Tuesday advanced the hearing on an application preferred by Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker Pollachi V. Jayaraman to restrain DMK president M.K. Stalin, the latter’s son-in-law V. Sabareesan, Kalaignar TV as well as editors of Tamil journals Nakheeran and Junior Vikatan from making or publishing false or defamatory statements against him.
Justice P.T. Asha advanced the date from August 18 to 13, after Mr. Jayaraman filed yet another application seeking an interim injunction urgently on the ground that Nakheeran reportedly continued to publish defamatory articles against him despite its counsel having accepted notice on the previous injunction application on July 20 and taken time till August 18 for filing a detailed counter affidavit.
When the second injunction application was listed for deciding its maintainability, the judge ordered that it would instead be treated as an application for early hearing of the previous plea. She also expressed her displeasure over the alleged articles published after issuance of notices.
“How can you take time for counter and continue the defamatory publication? Some discipline must be followed,” the judge said.
The Deputy Speaker had filed the applications as part of a civil suit preferred by him seeking damages of ₹1 crore from Mr. Stalin and others for having reportedly linked his name with the Pollachi serial sexual assault and blackmailing issue.
He claimed that speeches delivered by the leader of the Opposition were telecast on the television channel and that the two journals had also carried “false and defamatory” articles against him.
While the plaintiff was represented by his counsel B. Arvind Srevatsa, advocates Manuraj Shunmugasundaram, P.T. Perumal and N. Ramesh — representing Mr. Stalin, R. Nakheeran Gopal and the Editor of Junior Vikatan respectively — agreed to get along with the case as ordered by the court and make their submissions on the injunction application on August 13. They also assured the court that the pleadings would be completed before the hearing.
In his plaint, Mr. Jayaraman, 67, said, he was a member of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) for long and that he had been elected to the Legislative Assembly from Pollachi constituency for four consecutive terms, since 2001. He was also a former Minister for Industries, Environment, Pollution Control, Food, Civil Supplies and Cooperatives. He had assumed charge as Deputy Speaker in 2016.
Stating that he had come up in life by stint of hard work and was held in high esteem by his friends, family, relatives, well wishers and among right thinking sections of society, he complained that the respondents in the civil suit had caused irreparable damage to his reputation.
Referring to various articles published in the two Tamil journals, he said, those reports had made false claims of his sons being involved in the Pollachi serial sexual assault issue and he having attempted to bail them out from the case. “The respondents/defendants have no courtesy or respect for my age and they have no right to refer to me in a disrespectful manner,” he added.