News Tamil

Director Visu threatens to file defamation case against filmmaker Bhagyaraj


Bhagyaraj had accused Visu and others of misappropriation of funds worth Rs37 lakh while in office at South Indian Film Writers' Association.

K Bhagyaraj

Manigandan KR

The fight that erupted between two of Tamil cinema's famed directors, Visu and K Bhagyaraj, over the usage of the South Indian Film Writers' Association's funds, seems to have intensified. Visu has now threatened to file a defamation suit against Bhagyaraj, Manoj Kumar and Ramesh Khanna.

It may be recalled that the issue started with Bhagyaraj, the newly elected chairperson of the South Indian Film Writers' Association, filing a police complaint against Visu, the former chairman of the association, alleging that he, along with some of the former office bearers, had misappropriated funds to the tune of Rs37 lakh.

Bhagyaraj had alleged that it was found that former chairman Visu, former secretary Piraisoodan and one of the trustees, Madhumita, with some others, had initiated a Trust without the approval of the general council of the association and had transferred Rs37 lakh to the said trust in an inappropriate manner.

Visu, at that point, was undergoing treatment in the United States. He had then responded to the allegation, saying, "I am unwell and therefore undergoing treatment in the US. I am shocked to know about director Bhagyaraj's decision to lodge a complaint of misappropriation against me with the police commissioner. There is nothing amiss in the association. Nor has there been any misappropriation. That money is safe in the bank.
The interest that we get out of it is being used to help poor and needy writers.

"I look at Bhagyaraj's act of lodging a police complaint against me as an indication of the death of compassion. I will recover by the grace of God and return to face this allegation. I am someone who has been fair. I have helped several people gain access to education. I am an honest tax payer. I have not taken a single penny from the association."

Visu has now returned to Chennai and attempts were to convince both parties to settle peacefully. However, Visu and his colleagues are in no mood to relent. After reviewing the situation, he has issued another statement.

"There is no need to lie. When I was in the US, I had told director RK Selvamani that I would resolve the Trust issue amicably by holding talks once I returned to India. But even before that could happen, there has been so much confusion caused. It is only after I got back that I am getting to know one by one what all has happened. They have filed a complaint alleging cheating, grabbing, collusion and misappropriation against Piraisoodan, Madhumitha and me in the police commissioner's office.

"As a result, we were summoned by the MGR Nagar Police station officials and interrogated. After all this, they now expect us to give up our respect and dignity and appear for talks with them? What sort of an atrocious expectation is this? We will not come for talks. But I can tell you that what will come instead is a notice for a criminal case of defamation against Bhagyaraj, Manoj Kumar and Ramesh Khanna. This is not a threat. It is a humble effort to render information. It is a legal way to acquire justice from a head who has a habit of signing documents without reading them."