CHENNAI: Observing that the larger question before it was whether a group of persons could decide what one should write or not, the Madras High Court today reiterated its stand that Perumal Murugan, author of controversial novel 'Mathorubhagan', be heard.
The first Bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh, stated this after recording the undertaking by Murugan's counsel that he would obtain requisite instructions and vakkalat, enabling his client to represent before the court on his behalf.
The Bench, before which a batch of petitions to declare the peace committee meeting at Namakkal as null and void came up, observed that the larger question before it was whether a group of people could decide what an author should write or not.
"We are interested in preserving the system and upholding the rule of law. The author, being the correct person, should be represented in the Court. As the Court does not know what happened, the concerned person come before the court."
The CJ also said that there was no need of his personal appearance but a 'Vakkalat' should be filed on his behalf.
On January 12, 2015 a peace committee was held in the office of the Collector on the controversy raised because of the novel. After the meeting, the author posted on Facebook that 'the author Perumal Murugan is dead," which paved the way for filing petitions before the High Court.
Several petitions were filed in his support to declare the peace committee meeting as null and void.
In its order, the Bench said a notice had been served on the author.
The counsel stated that he would obtain necessary instructions and Vakalat from Murugan so that he was represented before the court.
The bench then posted for further hearing on February 24.
The novel revolves around travails of a childless couple and also deals with consensual sex between any man and childless woman to conceive during the annual temple car festival at Tiruchengode in Tamil Nadu.
It was alleged that the town of Tiruchengode, women devotees and the annual car festival of Shiva temple there were portrayed in a bad light in the book.
The author had, however, denied it and apologised if he had hurt any section of people.