Chennai: The Madras High Court today directed police to file an FIR against actor Kamal Haasan if one of his tweets, asking his fans not to distribute a herbal concoction to fight dengue-like fever, prima facie disclosed an offence.
Justice M S Ramesh gave the direction to police on a petition filed by G Devarajan. He sought a direction to police to register a case against the actor under cyber-crime laws and also under the ‘National Security Act.’
In a tweet on October 18, Haasan asked his fans to “not engage in the distribution of Nilavembu till the results of proper studies are out”. He said, “let other activities continue.”
After his tweet led to a row, Health Minister C Vijayabaskar asserted that Nilavembu was proven to increase immunity. Several others, including practitioners of Indian medicine also vouched for its efficacy.
Later, Haasan clarified that it was “not fair” to paint him as one who was opposed to the traditional medicine.
He said he had put out a tweet only because a “controversy” had erupted over its use.
“I had put out the tweet to avoid the medicine, which is under a controversy, from being given in excess quantity. I don’t prefer those of my movement (fans) to give a medicine without the advice or direction of a doctor,” he had said.
According to the petitioner, Haasan had posted the tweet asking his fans to desist from distributing ‘Nilavembu’ claiming that it has “side effects”.
“Whether the actor himself consumed the drink and suffered any such adverse side effects, and if it is so, he should have furnished proper details of such side effects while making such a statement,” he said.
The petitioner further alleged that the actor was making such statements with “political motives against the ruling government and to disturb peace in the state”.
Haasan was utilising the social networking site for spreading rumours against the government, he alleged.
Therefore, he has to be booked under relevant laws, he said.
The petitioner said police had not acted on his complaint against the actor and hence sought a direction from the court.