Report was published with mala fide intent, says Higher Education Minister.
Minister for Higher Education K.P. Anbalagan has filed a criminal defamation suit against publishers of Junior Vikatan and former Anna University Vice-Chancellor E. Balagurusamy in a judicial magistrate’s court on Wednesday.
The magazine, in its issue dated October 25, had carried an interview in which Mr. Balagurusamy reportedly alleged that kickbacks were received, at the Ministerial level, over appointment of professors.
The defamation suit has named the publishers of Junior Vikatan, the editor and the reporter, and the former Vice-Chancellor.
Speaking to the media, Mr. Anbalagan said the report was factually incorrect and was published with mala fide intent.
According him, the interview claimed that the government and the Minister had a role in the appointment of professors.
“As a Vice-Chancellor, he knew there was no role for the government or the Minister in the appointment of professors. With full knowledge of the same, he cast aspersions with the intent to defame the government and the Minister,” Mr. Anbalagan said. Further, “the concerned publication did not bother to play back the accusations to us for our comments,” he added.
“The publishers of Junior Vikatan and Ananda Vikatan had published the report. The question was asked by the reporter, and the insinuations were made by the former Vice-Chancellor of Anna University, Balagurusamy. The editor (of the magazine) should have reached out to us over the allegations but did not,” the Minister said.
Mr. Anbalagan said that he had filed the defamation suit in his private capacity, and not as a Minister. The suit was filed in Judicial Magistrate’s Court I on Wednesday. “We hope we get justice,” the Minister said.