Can’t be held responsible for minors drinking liquor: Senthilbalaji
CHENNAI: State Prohibition and Excise Minister V Senthilbalaji on Wednesday questioned how he could be responsible for the act of school students consuming liquor and causing a ruckus in the society. This statement that was made in a submission during a hearing did not amuse the Madras High Court, which asked how the Minister could say that.
The exchange happened when Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy was hearing a defamation suit filed by the Minister seeking a direction to restrain the State IT wing president of the BJP, CTR Nirmal Kumar, from making defamatory statements against Senthilbalaji.
When the matter was taken up for hearing, the Minister’s counsel submitted that if the defendant made genuine and department-related criticisms, his client could answer them. However, he was criticising the Minister for school boys consuming liquor. “How can our client be held responsible for the act of school students, who consume liquor and get involved in scuffles,” the counsel asked.
The Minister’s counsel also submitted that his client did not hold the portfolio of Home Department to control such illegal activities, and added that such incidents had happened in the previous government, too.
Recording the submissions, the judge observed how the Minister could say that he was not responsible for the consumption of liquor by youth.
As Senthilbalaji’s counsel is yet to be concluded, the judge posted the matter to Thursday. It may be noted that the High Court had passed an interim injunction restraining the BJP functionary from making charges against Senthilbalaji.