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Chennai: Former Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has argued in the Madras High Court that the crusader movement is making allegations of corruption to tarnish its reputation and for cheap publicity.
On July 22, a complaint was filed on behalf of the Charity Movement to the Chief Secretary, Highways Department, Anti-Corruption Department, that there were irregularities in the highway tender works of Thanjavur, Sivagangai and Coimbatore districts between 2019 and 2021. The project value was increased by including in these tenders for the rehabilitation of roads in good condition. It was stated in the complaint that this caused a loss of 692 crore rupees to the government. The news about this was published by the Arapor movement on social media.
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Former Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has filed a case in the Madras High Court against Arapor Movement, its coordinator Jayaram Venkatesh and co-coordinator Zakir Hussain, alleging that this has caused him disrepute and emotional distress. In that petition, he had demanded, “A compensation of one crore and 10 lakh rupees should be ordered as a compensation for damages. Arapor Movement and its administrators should be banned from making untrue statements against him.”
The case came up for hearing today before Justice Krishnan Ramasamy. At that time, a request was made on behalf of Arapor movement to postpone the trial of the case. Rejecting this, the judge ordered Edappadi Palaniswami’s counsel to argue. After this, the counsel for EPS argued, “On the basis of which tender is allotted is the policy decision of the government. In this, the Arapor movement cannot interfere.
It is alleged that the tender was awarded in favor of a company, which itself did not participate in the tender. None of the companies participating in the tender filed a case against the tender. It is alleged that the petitioner’s reputation is tarnished and cheap publicity is sought. It is a mistake for the charity organization Arapor Movement to make accusations directly in the media. Allegations made are purely based on speculation.
A social media site read by millions of people needs to be corroborated before making an allegation. It is not compensable to make defamatory remarks about a person of high social standing and to pay compensation for it. Continually making such allegations without evidence is liable to damages. Therefore, there should be a ban on making defamatory comments about the petitioner,” he argued.
After hearing the case, the judge adjourned the hearing to September 1.