TN milk row: HC restrains minister from making statements against private companies
The Madras High Court has restrained Tamil Nadu Milk and Dairy Development Minister Rajenthra Bhalaji from making any statements or remarks against three private milk companies or their products - Hatsun Agro Products Limited, Dodla Dairy and Vijay Dairy and Farm Products Private Limited, according to The New Indian Express.
The court has asked the minister not to make any remarks on print or visual media. Justice CV Karthikeyan stated this while hearing the petition filed by three companies asking the minister to pay Rs. 1 crore to each company as damages and for permanent injunction and restraining him from making any statements, disparaging the plaintiffs or their milk products, to the media, both print and visual from making baseless accusations of adulteration, on Friday, reported TNIE.
The judge has asked the three companies to send their milk products for voluntary test analysis in accredited laboratories once every three months and file the reports before the court. The judge added that the reports could be used by both the sides to justify their stands during the trial.
Highlighting the statements by the minister in the newspapers, the judge said that the minister must realize that it will first affect the workmen employed in milk companies. They would be the direct victims if the sales of the private milk companies fall.
The judge also noted that no one knows which companies the minister was targeting through his statements but that was enough to harm the reputation of all these companies. It is also not known if the minister would provide any analysis report or has any such reports, however, the statements itself justify an order of injunction, TNIE notes.