Madras HC orders notice on Edappadi Palaniswami suit against NGO

The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered notice on a civil suit from former Chief Minister and AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS), praying for a direction to an anti-corruption NGO to pay Rs 1.10 crore towards damages and to restrain it from making any allegation against him.

Justice Krishnan Ramaswamy ordered the notice, returnable by August 11.

When the senior counsel for EPS insisted for an interim order restraining the non-governmental organisation Arappor Iyakkam from making any such allegation, the judge replied the damage had already been done. If it continues to make such allegations against the plaintiff even after the issuance of the notice on the suit, he can bring it to the notice of the court, the judge added.

The suit and applications arising out of the same against Arappor Iyakkam, its convenor Jayaram Venkatesan and joint convenor Zakir Hussain, prayed for a direction to them to jointly and severally make a payment of Rs 1.10 crore towards damages caused to EPS’ reputation.

It also sought to restrain them permanently from in any manner releasing, circulating, publishing or indulging in making any kind of accusations/insinuations /allegations against him.

According to EPS, on July 28 this year, a private TV channel telecast a news article stating that the Arappor Iyakkam had addressed a letter to the state Vigilance department making false and untenable allegations against him in the matter of tenders for highways in Tamil Nadu.

The Iyakkam had also uploaded the same on its social media websites and widely circulated the news. It alleged corrupt practices in floating tenders at the time when he was the chief minister, holding Highways portfolio. It had caused a huge loss of Rs 692 crore to the exchequer, it had claimed.

Palaniswami contended the news, an utterly false one, had spoiled his name and fame and caused mental agony to him. It was intended to disrespect him, he further submitted.

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