Madras HC grants interim stay on the broadcast of Tamil reality TV show ‘Solvathellam Unmai’

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As per reports, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court comprising of Justices Muralidharan and Krishnavalli on May 30 ordered an interim stay on the broadcast of Tamil reality television show ‘Solvathellam Unmai’, which airs on Zee Tamil, until June 18. The court’s decision came after a man based in Virudhunagar district named Kalyana Sundaram filed a petition claiming that it portrays the personal lives of people without any concern for their privacy.

The court also directed the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to file their reply on the matter.

The host [Lakshmy Ramakrishnan] asks the person who is sitting at the studio to narrate what happened to them without concern about their right to privacy,” Kalyana Sundaram said in his petition. “Usually the programme records all the relationship matters pertaining to the individuals. It is pertinent to mention that sometimes, when asked the same questions over and over, the participant goes from verbal abusive to physical assault.”

As per reports, the plea mentions a 2013 Supreme Court order “for framing necessary guidelines in the matter of television programming”, and claims that in Solvathellam Unmai, the host manipulates the participant’s emotions solely with a view to increase the Television Rating Points. The petition also said that an alleged child rapist had committed suicide after he was “outed” on the show.

The petition also cites the suicide of an alleged child sexual abuser who was ‘outed’ on the show.

As per reports, in 2014, a woman named Baby Kala had confessed to abetting the murder of her husband by her lover on Lakshmy’s reality TV show Solvathellam Unmai which airs on Zee Tamil. The murder, which happened in 2010, was unravelled over the course of the show in April. Following this, Baby Kala and her lover, Gowrishankar, were arrested by the police. Since the confession was made on Lakshmy’s programme, she was asked to appear in court as a witness.

The petitioner also points out that children are made to participate in the show “with the purpose to capture the emotional sentiments to view the show. ”

The Court has ordered that that the broadcast of the programme be stayed until June 18. The court also directed the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to file their reply on the issue. In addition to this, the Managing Director of Zee Tamil has also been asked to reply.

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