The letter warns that if no apology is issued, then my client will be forced to initiate appropriate legal proceedings.

Suriya comes roaring at PETA sends legal notice for baseless allegations
news Jallikattu Saturday, January 21, 2017 - 13:53

Actor Suriya has sent a legal notice to PETA India for alleging that he chose to speak about the jallikattu issue now, only to gain publicity for promoting his forthcoming film Singam 3.

The letter dated January 20 is addressed to four entities including PETA India and its CEO Poorva Joshipura.

Sent by the actor’s legal counsel, the letter begins by saying that Suriya is a well-known actor as well as a socially conscious and law-abiding citizen. It further states that the actor genuinely tries to contribute towards the betterment of the society through his social and charitable work, and this is a well-known fact.

The letter points to an article in the Times of India dated January 18 with the headline, “PETA hits back at Suriya”. It says the Times of India news item states that, “PETA has accused Suriya of using the Jallikattu issue for the publicity of his upcoming movie ‘S3’ directed by Hari.”

It says the news item adds, “It’s no coincidence that Suriya decided to speak only when his film S3 is about to release. During illegal jallikattu events recently held, both bulls and humans have lost their lives. To use a cruel spectacle that routinely causes injuries and death, and which has been condemned as illegal by the highest court in our country for movie publicity is in extremely poor taste.”

Contrary to the mischievous and defamatory allegations made by you, Suriya has reiterated his commitment to the ‘jallikattu’ cause on several occasions in the past. There is no need for my client to indulge in such cheap publicity as alleged by you. Further, the film ‘S3’ is part of a very popular franchise (in Tamil, Telugu and its Hindi remake), which is among the most popular in the country and the two earlier movies have been blockbusters, the letter says.

The letter further states that the slanderous and unwarranted comments against the actor have served to lower his reputation among the general public and the media. The news item has caused severe mental agony to my client who has received several calls from the general public and the press enquiring about the issue, the letter adds.

These accusations have been deliberately made with mala fide intent and ulterior motives, and have tarnished the reputation of my client, the letter states. 

“My client voiced his opinion on an issue which is identified with Tamil culture, pride and tradition for almost 3000 years and as a Tamilian, he is fully entitled to do so. Moreover, currently there is a never before seen mass movement spearheaded by the youth in Tamil Nadu for the conduct of ‘jallikattu’ and my client had expressed his support for the young heroes who were fighting for the conduct of ‘jallikattu’.”

The letter says that all four of you have colluded to tarnish my client’s reputation and ought to be prosecuted for civil damages and criminal defamation.

It ends with a warning that if within seven days of receipt of this letter, you fail to issue an unconditional apology in writing to the actor and also present a copy of the same to the press and media, then my client will be constrained to initiate suitable legal proceedings against you. 

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