In a blow to Tamil Nadu Minister for Municipal Administration and Rural Development SP Velumani, the Madras High Court has refused to issue a gag order against DMK President MK Stalin and restrain him from making any statements or speeches against the AIADMK leader. This comes a week after Stalin was booked for his alleged defamatory remark against Velumani.
Stalin, who was speaking at an election rally in Coimbatore on April 4, alleged that Velumani was involved in corrupt practices in awarding local body tenders and that he is associated with one of the accused in the Pollachi sexual abuse case. Miffed over these allegations, Velumani had moved the High Court to pass a gag order on him.
Justice R Subramanian on Thursday observed that political parties levelling such charges and allegations are common during elections, thus refusing to grant an ex parte interim injunction sought by Velumani. The court also directed Stalin to file his response to the plea by April 16.
In his suit, Velumani sought Rs 1 crore from Stalin and DMK for the damages caused to him as a result of the defamatory speech against the Minister on April 4. Velumani said that Stalin had made baseless and unsubstantiated charges against him.
Velumani’s counsel had said, “These speeches were made to gain support for the candidates of DMK and its alliance parties contesting for the Lok Sabha election from Pollachi and Coimbatore constituencies.”
According to a report by The Hindu, the Minister listed some of his achievements since his college days, He stated that from being elected as the president of Kuniyamuthur Town Panchayat in 2001, he went on to become its chairman when it became a municipality. He was elected from Perur Assembly constituency in 2006 and won from the Thondamuthur constituency in 2011.
During his speech, Stalin, according to a report in TOI, had said that Velumani tops the list of corrupt leaders in the state and that they have sufficient evidence against the Minister to prove his involvement in corruption. “After we come to power, our first task will be to send Velumani to jail. The DVAC (Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption) will arrest him,” he reportedly said.
Following this, AIADMK advocate T Ramachandran filed a complaint with the Thondamuthur police station in Coimbatore, based on which, an FIR was registered under against Stalin.
KS Vetrivel, another AIADMK advocate, also filed a complaint with the Kuniyamuthur police station against Stalin, for making allegations against Velumani sans proof as well as for causing traffic congestion by bringing more than 100 vehicles in violation of the MCC.