Court restrains BJP functionary, others from making defamatory allegations against Thol Thirumavalavan

The VCK president has filed a civil suit against them, claiming nominal damages of ₹1 crore

The Madras High Court on Thursday restrained a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionary, a few journalists, an advocate and a writer from making and circulating defamatory statements against Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) president Thol Thirumavalavan who also represents Chidambaram Lok Sabha constituency in the Parliament.

Justice Abdul Quddhose granted the interim injunction on a civil suit preferred by the Member of Parliament seeking nominal damages to the tune of ₹1 crore from them for having harmed his reputation. The judge also ordered notices, returnable by January 28, to the respondents who had been accused of making the defamatory statements.

Senior counsel E. Omprakash told the court that Mr. Thirumavalavan was basically a lawyer who had been championing the cause of the downtrodden since his student days. He has been in active public service for the last 32 years and his political party now had four members in the Legislative Assembly and two in the Parliament. He also claimed to have earned a good reputation among Tamils spread across the globe.

The counsel said that one D. Periyasamy alias ‘Thada’ Periyasamy, who was once associated with the VCK, had switched sides and shifted to the BJP which had given him opportunities to contest in the Assembly and parliamentary elections. After joining the opposition camp, the respondent had begun a vilifying and malicious campaign against the MP by posting defamatory content on his Facebook page and other social media accounts. Similarly, activist advocate P. Rathinam too had begun to make disparaging remarks with respect to personal character of the MP, the court was told.

Referring to the 2003 honour killing of Dalit engineer S. Murugesan and his Vanniyar wife D. Kannagi in Cuddalore by forcing them to consume poison and the recent verdict in the case imposing the death sentence on the deceased woman’s brother and life imprisonment for her father and 11 others, Mr. Thirumavalavan said he had all along been demanding justice for the deceased.

However, Mr. Rathinam, who spearheaded the legal battle, had accused him of having forced the family members of the deceased Dalit engineer to withdraw their complaint. The accusations were being share widely on social media and a Tamil magazine too had published them, the MP said and sought to restrain all of them from making such defamatory allegations.

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