(This article is authored by Alar)
Actor Suriya has finally got a big legal victory on Thursday - August 11 as the order from the Madras High Court has poured a sense of relief to him and to director TJ Gnanavel from the case involving their movie 'Jai Bhim'. The high court has quashed the First Information Report (FIR) that was filed against Suriya and Gnanavel.
After the hearing on Thursday, the High Court bench headed by Justice N Sathish Kumar has issued the order of revocation of the FIR, which was filed based on the complaint that blockbuster hit 'Jai Bhim' has defamed the Vanniyar community in the movie. The case had been before the judiciary for nearly ten months and after observing the arguments of the actor and the director, the court has now quashed the FIR.
According to reports, K Santhosh, a Chennai-based advocate, of Rudra Vanniyar Sena December 2021 approached the Saidapet Court to seek direction to the police to register an FIR against actor Suriya and Jai Bhim director TJ Gnanavel. In his petition, Santhosh alleged that Jai Bhim was made with a motive to spark communal violence between communities and to trigger Vanniyar Phobia.
Admitting his petition, the Saidapet Court has directed the Chennai Police to register an FIR against Suriya, Jyothika, and Gnanavel. The FIR alleged that a calendar displayed in a scene in the movie showed the Agni Kundam - the symbol of Vanniyar Sangam, and the complainant cited that he was distressed over the villain's name being 'Gurumurthy, a popular leader in the Vanniyar Community.
Suriya and T.J. Gnanavel, the director of Jai Bhim, have filed a petition with the Madras High Court to annul the FIR, where the petition reads, “The lower court and the first respondent (inspector of police) failed to see that the name ‘Guru’ is a common one, and there is no iota of material available in the complaint that such a name was ascribed to the said character solely with a view to defame the name of one the leaders of the Vanniyar community, thereby tarnishing his image."
Consequently, on Thursday, August 11, Madras High Court Justice N Sathish Kumar issued the order. The First Information Report (FIR) filed against actress Suriya and filmmaker Gnanavel was overturned by the Madras High Court. Noteworthy to add is that the actor-filmmaker team was not to be subjected to any police action as per the high court order last month.
In 2021, T. J. Gnanavel has directed the historical legal drama Jai Bhim, which was produced by Jyothika and Suriya under their 2D Entertainment banner. Suriya plays a major role in the movie alongside Lijomol Jose and Manikandan and Rajisha Vijayan, Prakash Raj, and Rao Ramesh are the supporting roles. Police prejudice and governmental brutality against a community on the margins are covered in the film particularly, Sengeni and Rajakannu, a couple from the Irular tribe, are central to the story, which is based on a real-life episode from 1993 that included a lawsuit fought by former Madras High Court judge Justice Chandru.