#MeToo : Chennai Court Stays Dubbing Union's Expulsion Of Tamil Singer Chinmayi [Read Order]
In a relief to playback singer Chinmayi Sripada, a Chennai Court has stayed the decision taken by South Indian Cine,Television Dubbing Artists Union on November 11,2018 to expel her from its membership.
Against the removal, she approached the Chennai City Civil Court stating that the Union's decision was a vindictive response to her #MeToo revelations.
Empowered by the #MeToo movement in social media, she had come forward and tweeted about the instances of sexual harassment she had to face in the film industry, said the award winning singer in her application for interim stay. She added that several women shared similar experiences of harassment with her, which she shared in her Twitter account. The Union got irked by her actions, since some of the allegations were against the Union President Radha Ravi.
The purported reason stated in the removal order was that she had failed to pay the subscription fees. She claimed that she had become a life member of the Union after paying the requisite fee. No show-cause notice was also served on her before the removal order, she pointed out.
The removal has serious civil consequences and has resulted in denial of livelihood, Chinmayi's counsel V Suresh argued before the Court.
The Court found that Chinmay had made out a "prima facie case" and that the "balance of convenience was in her favour". From records, the Court found that Chinmay was a life member. It noted that Union had not served a show-cause notice to the singer, which was a mandatory requirement as per the bye-laws.
I have been awarded an interim stay order by the Honble Court regarding my ban from the Tamilnadu Dubbing Union.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) March 15, 2019
It is a long legal battle ahead.
Hope justice will prevail.
The Court also agreed with Chinmayi's contention that removal from union has caused her "great mental and emotional stress" and has deprived her of work.
""Unless an ad-interim injunction is granted the petitioner will be put to irreparable loss and hardship", observed the Court. As a result, the effect of November 19 decision is stayed and the Union is restrained from interfering with Chinmayi's right in continuing as a member of the Union and enjoyment of privileges and employment as an artist in film industry.
The Union and its President Radha Ravi have been made respondents in the application, who have been asked by the Court to respond by March 25.
Chinmayi started her #MeToo campaign with allegations of sexual harassment against veteran Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu.
(Image sourced from here)