Madurai bench of Madras High Court
Madurai bench of Madras High Court

Kalaimamani: ‘Let panel pick deserving artistes’

R Mahadevan and J Sathya Narayana Prasad issued the direction to the government and the Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Manram following a PIL filed by Villupattu artiste Sermathurai, who alleged that ineligible persons were chosen for the 2019-20 awards that were given on February 21, 2021.

MADURAI: The Madurai bench of Madras High Court on Monday directed the government to constitute an expert committee and also formulate guidelines on the eligibility criteria, method of selection, etc. to choose Kalaimamani awardees within three months.

R Mahadevan and J Sathya Narayana Prasad issued the direction to the government and the Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Manram following a PIL filed by Villupattu artiste Sermathurai, who alleged that ineligible persons were chosen for the 2019-20 awards that were given on February 21, 2021. The authorities had chosen these persons on their own and at the instance of influential persons, he added, and sought a direction to withdraw these awards.

While the Arts and Culture Department had formulated a scheme to award artistes in each district according to their age and eminence,the government and Manram selected awardees without following any norms and procedure, nor drafted any guidelines. He sought a direction to fix the criteria and present the award based on the recommendation of an expert panel.

The respondents were told to form a committee, formulate guidelines and incorporate bylaws. Also, the selection should be fair, transparent, and unbiased to ensure that the award is conferred to only those who truly deserve it, the bench said.

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