The eight Tamil actors including stars Suriya, Sathyaraj and Vivek who are battling a defamation case in an Ooty court can breathe a sigh of relief. The Madras High Court on Thursday directed that the non-bailable warrant issued against them by the lower court, will not be executed until further orders. An interim order has been issued by the HC and the case adjourned by two weeks.
The police will not come knocking at doors of these actors, for now. The next hearing is scheduled for June 17.
A court in Ooty issued a non-bailable arrest warrant on Tuesday against eight Tamil actors - Suriya, Sarathkumar, Sathyaraj, Sripriya, Vijaykumar, Arun Vijay, Vivek and Cheran for failing to appear for a summons.
The actors had failed to appear for a second summons on May 15.
The court had first ordered the appearance of the actors on December 19, 2011 but the stars moved the Madras High Court seeking to dispense with their personal appearance, reported Times of India. However, the petition was dismissed.
When the case came up for hearing on May 15, the actors failed to appear before the court. Judicial Magistrate Senthilkumar Rajavel issued a non-bailable warrant against the stars.
The matter relates to a defamation case filed by a freelance journalist in 2009. The case was sparked off by the arrest of a small-time actor, Bhuvaneswari, on charges of prostitution in Chennai. Following her arrest, a Tamil daily published a report stating that a group of actors were involved in prostitution and running brothels in Tamil Nadu.
Condemning the Tamil daily for its article, the Nadigar Sangam held a protest with the biggest stars including Rajinikanth, Suriya, Sarathkumar and others turning up to demand strict action against those behind the baseless report.
Following a complaint by the then Nadigar Sangam President Sarathkumar, the Chennai Police arrested the editor of the newspaper. The daily eventually retracted the article and published an apology.
However, freelance journalist M Rozario went on to file a complaint alleging that the actors who spoke at the meeting made derogatory speeches against all journalists, rather than condemning the Tamil daily that had published the article.