The Madras High Court on Thursday stayed proceedings in a criminal defamation case against DMK president M K Stalin over certain remarks made by him against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami in September.
Justice N Anand Venkatesh issued the interim order on a petition by Stalin against the proceedings arising out of a complaint filed against him under section 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code over his alleged public speech in Salem criticising the chief minister on September 18.
The case was initially filed in a court in Salem and later transferred to the special court for cases against MPs and MLAs here.
Stalin submitted that the trial court had failed to note that the allegations made against the chief minister did not amount to defamation. He alleged that the complaint had been filed with a malicious and political motive to harass him.
Making a statement against Palaniswami in his individual capacity cannot be said to be damaging the reputation of the office of the chief minister, the DMK chief submitted.
The public prosecutor opposed the plea and argued that baseless and unsubstantiated allegations made by the petitioner against the chief minister constituted criminal defamation and he was liable to be prosecuted.