Published: 14th September 2020
Former Madras HC judges request CJ to not take action against Actor Suriya for remarks on NEET
Actor Suriya had written on Twitter: Fear for life due to fear of Corona. The court which administers justice through video conferencing orders students to go and write exams without fear
Six former judges have urged to the Madras High Court Chief Justice to dismiss a demand by Justice SM Subramaniam to intiate contempt proceedings against Tamil actor Suriya Sivakumar for his remarks on National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET). The actor had remarked that the students were being formed to write their exams amid a pandemic even as judges are holding video conferencing to hear cases. The judges have appealed to the Chief Justice to leave the matter without cognizance as it requires no action.
Justices K Chandru, KN Basha, T Sudhanthiram, D Hariparanthaman, A Kannan and GM Akbar Ali sent a plea to the Madras HC CJ stating that the statement by actor Suriya "does not require any action as requested by the learned judge. Where four students have committed suicide unable to meet the NEET requirement and in a surcharged atmosphere, an artistic person's overreaction should not be taken seriously and out of context."
The former judges have also emphasised that if one reads Suriya's letter in totality and considers the good work he has done through his trust to help poor students to complete their higher education and get placement, the CJ should "show generosity and magnanimity in leaving the matter without any cognizance."
Actor Suriya, in his letter written in Tamil on Twitter, had in one part said: "When there is a fear for life due to fear of Corona, the court which administers justice through video conferencing orders students to go and write exams without fear. "
Responding to this, Madras High Court judge SM Subramaniam said the actor was in contempt of court. "The said statement in my considered opinion amounts to contempt of court as the integrity and devotion of the Hon'ble Judges as well as the Judicial System of our Great Nation are not only undermined but criticised in a bad shape, wherein there is a threat for the public confidence on the Judiciary (sic)," he wrote to the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court.
Suriya while commenting on the recent students' suicide in Tamil Nadu over the fear of the NEET exam, criticised the court for permitting the examination to be conducted among the raging COVID-19 pandemic. He has also received support from his fans on social media for his strongly-worded statement against the conduct of the exams amid the crisis.