Former judges back actor Suriya’s social work as Madras HC judge seeks contempt proceedings against him

Written By: Sidharth MP WION
Chennai Published: Sep 14, 2020, 05:09 PM(IST)

File image of Suriya Photograph:( Twitter )

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Former judges of the Madras High Court have urged the Chief Justice(CJ) to ‘not take seriously’ the comments made by actor Suriya on the recent student suicides in the state, connected with the NEET Exam.

Former judges of the Madras High Court have urged the Chief Justice(CJ) to ‘not take seriously’ the comments made by actor Suriya on the recent student suicides in the state, connected with the NEET Exam. The former judges have requested the CJ to not take cognizance of the complaint so that the court is rid of unnecessary controversies.  This comes after, Justice SM Subramaniam, a judge of the Madras High Court had written to the Chief Justice, seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against actor Suriya.

In a statement in Tamil, Suriya had expressed grief over the separate instances where three students from humble backgrounds had ended their lives due to fear and pressure ahead of the medical entrance test. The actor pointed out that it was painful that students are having to write exams to prove their eligibility at the time of a deadly pandemic.

“While Fearing for their lives amid Coronavirus pandemic and delivering justice via video conferencing, the Court orders students to go without fear and write the exams” read one of the lines in the actor’s statement. It is this line that had come to the attention of the judge, which led to him seeking initiation of contempt proceedings.

In his letter to the Chief Justice, the judge mentioned that, “the statement reveals that the Hon’ble Judges are afraid of their own life and rendering justice through video conferencing. While so, they have no morale to pass orders directing the students to appear for NEET exam without fear”.

Justice Subramaniam opined that the statement amounts to Contempt of Court, as it questioned the integrity and devotion of the judges and the judicial system of the country, to the extent of threatening the public confidence in the judiciary.

The actor’s statement urged society to raise a collective voice against NEET, which burns down the aspirations of children from humble backgrounds who wish to be doctors. He had also termed NEET as a ‘Manu Neethi test’, claiming that it denies students opportunities and also takes away their lives. Suriya had also cautioned parents and teachers to be alert and pay more attention to the education system which does not consider the welfare of students.

In their letter, the former judges pointed out the good social work done by the actor via his Trust in providing higher education and placements for hundreds of poor students. “We should show generosity and magnanimity in leaving the matter without any cognizance” said a portion of the statement signed by Retd. Justice K Chandru, on behalf of five former Judges.

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