New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday slammed TN Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa for using the office of public prosecutor to file defamation cases against political opponents even for fair criticism of her or bureaucrats and said defamation is not a counter weapon. A Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Rohinton Nariman taking a serious exception to this intolerant attitude directed the Jayalalithaa government to produce list of defamation cases filed against Opposition leader Vijayakanth and other political opponents in two weeks. Senior counsel R. Basant appeared for the state agreed to give the list.
Earlier counsel G.S. Mani, appearing for Vijayakanth brought to the notice of the court that a court in Tiruppur had issued non-bailable warrants against Vijayakanth and his wife Premalatha for non-appearance in response to summons in defamation complaint. At the outset Justice Misra observed that fair criticism of the CM cannot be termed “defamatory” and stayed the summons.