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Judge Seeks Contempt Proceedings Against Actor Suriya Over NEET Statement



Suriya, in his statement, had wondered how judges doing their duty on video conferencing can expect students to step out to write the NEET exams.

An evocative and sharply worded statement by actor Suriya hitting out against the conduct of the NEET medical entrance test has drawn the ire of the judiciary. Madras High Court judge SM Subramaniam has written a letter to the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court seeking contempt proceedings for Suriya’s objectionable references to the functioning of the judiciary in the letter.

In the statement that Suriya had released on Sunday, he had strongly criticised the necessitation of the NEET exam in the adverse conditions imposed by the lockdown and the general digital divide between students with better coaching and internet connectivity and those who are trying to make do with little or no facilities. To drive home the point that the exam shouldn’t have been conducted, Suriya wondered how students can be expected to bravely step out and write an exam when judges conduct their duty via video conferencing from their homes.

“Fearing for their lives due to the coronavirus, the court, which delivers justice via video conferencing, orders students to fearlessly go and write exams…” the statement, written in Tamil, read.

According to reports, the judge had held that the letter written to the Chief justice had viewed Suriya’s attitude as one being contemptuous of the court.

NEET has turned into a highly emotive issue in Tamil Nadu. On Saturday, three students from Tamil Nadu died of suicide. DMK President MK Stalin said if voted to power, his party will abolish the medical entrance test. Today, the DMK staged a protest inside the Parliament premises seeking withdrawal of NEET. In Tamil Nadu, as the three-day Assembly Session started today, DMK MLAs wore masks bearing the message ‘Ban NEET, save students of TN’.

first published:September 14, 2020, 12:29 IST