We are not afraid: Arappor Iyakkam reacts to defamation case by TN govt
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We are not afraid: Arappor Iyakkam reacts to defamation case by TN govt

By The News Minute calender  01-Aug-2019

We are not afraid: Arappor Iyakkam reacts to defamation case by TN govt

In what civil society activists have called a clear case of harassment, Jayaram Venkatesan, the convenor of Arappor Iyakkam has been slapped with a criminal defamation case for speaking up on alleged corruption by Tamil Nadu Minister SP Velumani. Arappor Iyakkam has been at the forefront of highlighting numerous civic issues in Chennai and other districts, often fighting prolonged legal battles with the state. 
In a TV debate on a Tamil news channel in December last year, Jayaram Venkatesan had accused the Minister for Municipal Administration SP Velumani of corruption. The accusation pertains to the tenders awarded by the Chennai Corporation. According to Arappor Iyakkam's exposé in September last year, corporation tenders were awarded to a syndicate of six contractors owned and operated by people close to SP Velumani. The group alleges that Vardhan Infrastructure, which was one of the six companies that won bids in Chennai Corporation, won tenders worth 88% of the total value of tenders floated by the corporation to source manpower to staff the Primary Healthcare Centres in Chennai. The NGO also exposed such tenders in Chennai and Coimbatore Corporations, in which the alleged close aides of Velumani alone competed amongst each other and won bids.
The NGO has duly approached the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption and the Madras High Court with the case. When the criminal defamation case came up before the court on Wednesday, the Minister's counsel reportedly argued that the statements made by Jayaram in the debate were 'defamatory, scandalous, disparaging and highly provocative,' arguing that the Minister was an esteemed individual. 

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क्या आरक्षण पर मोहन भागवत के बयान से चुनावों में बीजेपी को नुकसान होगा?

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