New Delhi: The Supreme Court today pulled up the Jayalalithaa-led Tamil Nadu government for using defamation cases as a 'political tool'. The observation was made by a bench headed by justice Dipak Misra that was hearing a plea challenging a non-bailable warrant issued against actor-turned-politician Vijayakanth by a Tirupur court for alleged defamatory statements he made against Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa.
Vijayakanth heads the Tamil Nadu opposition party Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam “Anyone criticising or calling a government unfit cannot be slapped with a defamation case,” said Misra, stressing that the Tamil Nadu government could not file defamation cases against opponents for criticism.
The court stayed the non-bailable warrants against Vijayakanth and asked the Tamil Nadu government to produce a list of defamation cases filed by it against its opponents for criticising the government.
On 26 July, the Tirupur principal district judge court issued a non-bailable warrant against Vijayakanth and his wife Premalatha for failing to appear before the court in connection with the defamation case filed against them.