The state government continues to up the heat on Director Muragadoss over his criticism of several government policies in his latest film Sarkar. Latest in this effort to prevent alternate discourse on its policies, was the state public prosecutor's stance in the Madras High Court that the director should be denied bail unless he gave an undertaking that he would no longer criticise policies of the government in his films.
â€śWhen the case for anticipatory bail came up in court, the state public prosecutor said that my client, Murugadoss, must apologise unconditionally. In addition to this, the stated that he must give an undertaking promising that he will not criticise any government policies in his film in the future," reveals advocate Vivek Ratnam to TNM.
"I immediately pointed out that their public prosecutor needs to establish what offence my client committed in order for him to apologise. If an offense is proven, he is ready to apologise. And second, it is against the fundamental right of speech and expression of my client for the government to dictate what can and cannot be shown in his film regarding their policies," he adds.
The advocate claims that he was under the impression that this case would close today. He alleges that the state prosecutor is purposely delaying the case.
"But the court directed that I ask my client if he was willing to give such an undertaking. I spoke to the Director now and he made it clear that he will not give this undertaking," he states.
Days after Sarkar, a movie produced by Sun Pictures starring Vijay, Keerthi Suresh and Varalaxmi was released, the director received several threats from AIADMK members, with Tamil Nadu State Law minister warning legal action against the movie.
Following heightened drama that the police had visited AR Murugadossâ€™s house with an intent of arresting him, the director had sought for anticipatory bail from Madras High Court.
Murugadossâ€™ plea had stated that he had the right to address and highlight social views in films as guaranteed by the constitution under Article 19(1)(a). The plea also stated that he is also allowed the promotion of "advocacy or ideas as well discussion of one's own ideas."