HC declines TN minister's plea to restrain NGO


Chennai, Feb 28 (PTI) The Madras High Court on Thursday refused to grant any immediate interim relief on a prayer by a Tamil Nadu minister seeking to restrain an NGO from levelling corruption charges against him in the media and on social media.

In his suit, Municipal Administration Minister S P Velumani sought damages of Rs 1 crore against the non-governmental organisation, Arappor Iyakkam, for dissemination of alleged defamatory content against him, permanent injunction and the relief of an interim injunction against the NGO.

The injunctions were to restrain the organisation from publishing in any manner further "defamatory" articles, photographs, statements or caricatures insinuating him to allegations of corruption.

When the civil suit filed by Velumani came up before Justice R Subramanian, the judge directed tagging the suit with other similar matters and posted them for further hearing to March 8.

The minister, in his suit, contended that the convener of Arappor Iyakkam, Jayaram Venkatesan, had been spreading "false news" against him for the past one year.

Such "false" allegations against him were being made through print, electronic media and social media platforms, Velumani said.

The charges against him include misuse of powers, forming cartels and involvement in favouritism over calling tenders and preventing participation of others in bids in a free and fair manner, the minister said.

Such charges were "unsubstantiated, frivolous, false and made with a view to tarnish" his reputation among the public, he said, adding that it had "irreparably damaged" his reputation.

According to Velumani, the organisation, which has already filed a writ plea in the high court seeking a probe against him, however, continued dissemination of "false" news covering the very same charges it raised in its petition against him without waiting for the outcome of its prayer.

The Iyakkam had sought a probe by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption against the minister over alleged corruptio

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