Aishwarya Dhanush, secretary of the Sri Raghavendra Educational Trust that runs the Ashram School, has sued landlord Venkateswarulu for defamation.
The school property on Race Course Road, Guindy was locked by the landlord and his family due to rental arrears earlier this month. In Aishwarya’s suit, she has asked for Rs 5 crores compensation from the landlord’s family for making objectionable remarks against the school’s founder, Latha Rajinikanth, and also for causing unmentionable worry to the parents, employees and children in the school. Aishwarya has also sought Rs 1 crore from them for trespassing on private property, according to a Deccan Chronicle report.
In her lawsuit, Aishwarya said that Venkateswaralu was paid the previously agreed upon rent amounts regularly till May 2017. She alleged that he’d hiked the rent in direct violation of their contract, and had made incorrect statements to the media about ‘rental arrears’ when in fact, there was none.
The counsel for the cast, TT Ravichandran said that the school was running ‘peacefully’ on the property rented from Venkateswarulu and that there were no dues.
Venkateswarulu and his family locked the gates of the school on August 15. When the school children returned after the holidays on 16, they were not able to enter and were accommodated at Ashram’s Velachery campus.
From the suit, it is clear that both parties have been engaged in some sort of dispute since 2014. In 2014, however, Venkateswarulu had filed a lawsuit asking the school to pay dues. While the suit was pending, both parties decided to make an out-of-court settlement. This could not be recorded in court, as once again, Venkateswarulu demanded ‘exorbitant’ rental arrears.