The Madras High Court on Friday dismissed a case filed against actor-politician Rajinikanth for his comments about a rally led by social reformer and Dravida Kazhagam (DK) founder EV Ramaswamy popularly known as Periyar.
The case was filed by the Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam (DVK).
While hearing the case, the court wondered why the petitioner had approached it within 15 days of lodging a police complaint. As per usual norms, a petitioner goes to the police and then a local magistrate.
At this stage, the counsel for the petitioner sought the court's permission to withdraw the petition and the court dismissed the same.
On January 14, taking part at an event held by Tamil magazine 'Thuglak', Rajinikanth had alleged: "In 1971, at Salem, Periyar took out a rally in which the undressed images of Lord Sri Ramachandra Murthy and Sita -with a garland of sandal-featured...." drawing the ire of pro-Periyar outfits and political parties.
The followers of the social activist, who started the 'self-respect movement' and founded DK, said that Rajinikanth's comments were an insult to Periyar.
While some groups have demanded an apology from Rajinikanth, the actor had refused.
Speaking to reporters outside his residence recently, Rajinikanth showed a photocopy of an Outlook article about media censorship in Tamil Nadu in support of his comments and said that he will not apologise.
Rajinikanth's claim has become a hotly contested debate in the state. While an anti-superstition rally was indeed carried out by Periyar and his followers in Salem in 1971, the DMK and Periyarists have a different version of events. According to them, the idol was not naked and neither was it wearing a garland of chappals. The group maintains that the images were hit with a chappal that was thrown at the procession by Hindu groups.
The DVK has registered a complaint with the Coimbatore police against Rajinikanth for defaming the DK founder.
The DVK complained that Rajinikanth's statement was false and urged the police to file a case against him.
The DVK also threatened protests outside the theatres showing the actor's latest movie "Darbar" if he did not apologise.
(With IANS input)