The Madras High Court on Thursday quashed the FIR registered against actor Suriya Sivakumar and director T J Gnanavelraja by the city police, allegedly for hurting the sentiments of the Vanniyar community by portraying it in a bad light in the Tamil feature film ‘Jaibheem’.
Justice N Sathish Kumar set aside the FIR, while passing orders on the petition filed by the duo, today.
Contending that the film depicted Vanniars in poor light, city-based advocate K Santhosh of Rudhra Vanniyar Sena had approached a Metropolitan Magistrate in Saidapet and obtained an order on May 6 to register the FIR against the filmmaker and the actor. Accordingly, the Velachery police registered the FIR against Suriya and Gnanavelraja on May 17.
In their petition, Suriya and Gnanavelraja submitted that the movie was based on a case conducted by Justice K Chandru, a retired judge of the High Court when he was a lawyer. Except his and that of the former Inspector General of Police Perumalsamy, the names of all other characters were changed.
The calendar showing the Vanniyars also was deleted from the movie, which was given a ‘A’ certificate by the Censor Board.
It was released only on the over the top (OTT) platform, thereby limiting the number of viewers who could watch it. Chief Minister M K Stalin watched the film on November 1 and appreciated the message that the film had conveyed. It was also well received by the audience all over the world without any distinction based on caste, community or religion and ended up winning several national and international awards, including the Dadasaheb Phalke Film Festival
Award, the JFW Award and the Boston International Film Festival Award.
The Magistrate had issued the direction to register the FIR in a routine and mechanical manner without application of mind, the petitioners contended