The criminal contempt proceedings against film producer and Vels Educational Trust founder Ishari K Ganesh and his alleged aide Anantharaman came up for hearing at the divisional bench of the Madras High Court today. They were charged for trying to influence Justice Anand Venkatesh to postpone the Nadigar Sangam elections held on June 23.
According to reports, both Ishari Ganesh and Anantharaman asked the court to dispense their personal presence, but the court denied their plea. They appeared before the court this morning, represented by senior councils. The bench was presided Justice MM Sundaresh and Nirmal Kumar, who asked them to file affidavits and adjourned the hearing for July 29, when they will appear once again.
Ishari Ganesh contested for the post of general secretary on behalf of K Bhagyaraj’s team in the Nadigar Sangam elections, that were held after facing many delays and controversies. Soon after the voting completed, Justice Venkatesh of the Madras High Court filed a suo moto criminal contempt petition (read on Live Law), seeking action against Ishari Ganesh and Anatharaman, who was a common acquaintance of both him and Ganesh.
He said that when he was returning from Vellore to Chennai for an urgent hearing seeking direction for the Chennai police to provide security for elections, he got a call from Anantharaman asking to push the elections dates by a few weeks since Ishari Ganesh was interested in it. Anantharaman had also reached his house to make the request in person. “This, in my view is a shocking state of affairs where a party interested in a litigation and who is also said to be a contestant in the election had the audacity to approach a judge of this court and seek for a favour,” said Justice Venkatesh.
Other attempts to stall the elections were allegedly made by actor Radha Ravi, who is reported to be associated with A Elumalai, who filed a case seeking stay. The Chennai police had also said in the last minute that protection cannot be provided in MGR Janaki College, the initially announced venue, and the final venue was not known until a day before elections.
The ballots are currently with the South Indian Bank in Nungambakkam, Chennai, and the association is awaiting the High Court’s verdict on the alleged illegal termination of 61 members of the council, and to decide the dates and venue for ballot counting.
Image Courtesy: Vels University Website