Different bench to hear case on govt ban on Tamil book

PTI Chennai | Updated on July 19, 2013

A different three-judge bench of the Madras High Court will hear the case relating to the government’s recent ban on a Tamil book.

A bench of Justices V Dhanapalan, R Subbiah and C T Selvam referred the matter to acting Chief Justice R K Agrawal after counsel for the author said it should be heard by a bench in which a Dalit judge is not present.

The government had on May 30 banned the book “Meendezhum Pandiyar Varalaru” (Resurgence of Pandiyar history) written by K Senthil Mallar, which claimed that Pallars, a Scheduled Caste, were the original rulers of southern Tamil Nadu.

The court recorded that a letter dated July 8 had been sent to acting Chief Justice R K Agrawal to be posted before a different bench.” ...Accordingly, the Registry is directed to place the matter before the acting Chief Justice for constitution of a different bench,” the judges said.

The government had banned the book due to an apprehension that it might incite violence and promote ill-will among various communities in the state.

Questioning the ban, the counsel for the author had sought to read out the ban order in the court. When it was disallowed, he addressed to acting Chief Justice favouring transfer of the case to a different bench.

In his petition, Mallar said that ever since its release, more than 1,000 copies of the book had been sold and there was no disturbance of public order during the period. He said the ban notification had been issued without any application of mind.

Meanwhile, founder of Tamil Sanga Palagai (organisation working for promotion of Tamil language) M C Tamilpithan sought to implead himself as a party to the proceedings, saying if the book was allowed to be circulated it would adversely affect the culture, tradition, history and communal harmony in Tamil Nadu and other states. According to him, most of the contents in the book were “misleading, incorrect and false”.

Published on July 19, 2013

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