A photograph taken and posted on a travel website by an unknown foreigner nearly drove Thilakavathy,a 25-year-old mother,to suicide and landed Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (Tansacs),which used the picture showing Thilakavathy and her then two-year-old daughter in hundreds of hoardings and posters for an HIV awareness campaign,in court.
Justice Suguna of the Madras High Court,hearing Thilakavathys plea for relief and compensation,directed Tansacs to draw up guidelines for using photographs from the Internet and ordered removal of all hoardings and posters with the photo within a week.
The High Court agreed with Thilakavathy that the ads,with captions suggesting she was an AIDS patient,were a serious problem that will affect the social status of the family. Thilakavathy had pleaded the ads have made relatives and neighbours distance themselves from the family and in the beginning made even her husband suspicious of her.
Justice Suguna later directed Thilakavathys counsel to implead the private advertisement agency as a party to the case. Final judgment on her demand for a compensation of Rs 1 crore and unconditional public apology from Tansacs will be pronounced after a month.