Film producer, actor and Vels Educational Institution founder Ishari K Ganesh has tendered an unconditional apology to the Madras High Court, confessing that he attempted to influence a judge to postpone the Nadigar Sangam elections held on June 23. The bench headed by Justices MM Sundaresh and B Nirmal Kumar recorded that he will make a voluntary contribution of Rs 10 lakh as fine to the Legal Services Authority for the welfare of abandoned children and transgender persons. He has been ordered to deposit the amount in two weeks.
The criminal contempt of court proceedings were filed against him and his alleged aide Anantharaman by Madras HC’s Justice Anand Venkatesh. The case was initially posted for July 22, when Ishari Ganesh and Anantharaman reportedly requested the court to dispense their personal presence and to not hear this as an emergency case, but the court denied their plea and asked their counsels to file affidavits and adjourned hearing for this morning.
Ishari Ganesh contested for the post of general secretary on behalf of K Bhagyaraj’s team in the Nadigar Sangam elections, held after facing many delays and controversies. Soon after the voting completed, Justice Venkatesh filed a suo moto criminal contempt petition, 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 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, reported to be associated with A Elumalai, who filed a case seeking stay. The Chennai police also said in the last minute that protection cannot be provided in MGR Janaki College, the initially announced venue for elections, 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 Nadigar Sangam 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