The court ordered a temporary stay till June 18 following a petition by Kalyana Sundaram.

Madras HC gives interim stay on broadcast of Lakshmy Ramakrishnans Solvathellam Unmai
news Law Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 18:33

In a setback for the Tamil reality television show Solvathellam Unmai, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has ordered a stay on its broadcast till June 18.

The temporary stay comes after Kalyana Sundaram from Virudhunagar district filed a petition in court. Kalyana Sundaram said that the show affected poor people's basic and individual rights. He had also reportedly stated that when private matters are telecast in a public manner, it affects the individual on the receiving end of the argument.

In his petition, Kalyana Sundaram states, "The host asks person who is sitting at the studio to narrate what happened to them without concerning about their right to privacy. Usually the programme records all the alleged illicit relationship issues pertaining to the individuals. It is pertinent to mention that sometimes in view of the same purposeful questions the participant goes from raging verbal abusive to physical assault. (sic)”

Citing a 2013 apex court notice "for framing necessary guidelines in the matter of television programming", he says, “..the anchor motivates the emotion of participant to higher level with the purpose to her show's Target Rating Point(TRP)...The show is portraying many persons' personal life without any consideration of their privacy. (sic)“

The petitions also cites the suicide of an alleged child sexual abuser who was ‘outed’ on the show.

In 2014, a woman named Baby Kala had confessed to abetting the murder of her husband by her lover on Lakshmy's reality TV show Solvathellam Unmai which airs on Zee Tamil. The murder, which happened in 2010, was unravelled over the course of the show in April. Following this, Baby Kala and her lover, Gowrishankar, were arrested by the police. Since the confession was made on Lakshmy's programme, she was asked to appear in court as a witness.

The petitioner also points out that children are made to participate in the show "with the purpose to capture the emotional sentiments to view the show. (sic)"

Following this, Justices Muralidharan and Krishnavalli ordered that the broadcast of the programme be stayed until June 18. The court also directed the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to file their reply on the issue. In addition to this, the Managing Director of Zee Tamil has also been asked to reply.

When TNM contacted her, Lakshmy declined to comment as she was awaiting the full orders of the court.

Also read: I've a substantial role in 'Kaala', won't disappear after a flashback: Easwari Rao to TNM

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