CHENNAI: Writer Perumal Murugan on Tuesday filed an affidavit in the Madras High Court and defended his literary works saying he just carried out his role as a writer.
The counter was filed in response to a batch of PILs from the Tamil Progressive Writers Association of Tamil Nadu, People’s Union for Civil Liberties and advocate T Lajapathi Roy.
The affidavit, among other things, prayed for guidelines to safeguard freedom of speech, guaranteed under the Constitution.
The petitioners alleged that local authorities had obtained an ‘unconditional apology’ from Murugan under threat and coercion at a ‘peace meeting’ conducted at Namakkal on January 12.
When the PILs came up before the First Bench comprising Chief Justice S K Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh on the earlier occasions, the Bench had impleaded Murugan as another petitioner and directed him to file an affidavit.
After much hesitation, Murugan finally heeded and filed his affidavit.
Highlighting the role of a writer in a welfare society, the author said his understanding of the function of writers as those critically engaged with society had kept him going all these years.
The Bench ordered notice to the respondents, numbering 14 returnable in three weeks. It also refused to entertain the other two writ petitions from the PUCL and Lajpathi Roy, as Murugan, the aggrieved person, has become the second petitioner. The matter has been posted to April 27 for further hearing.