'As public figure, you must face criticism': SC tells Jayalalithaa

Not in a position to release Cauvery water for Tamil Nadu Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

Rebuking Jayalalithaa, SC said, questioning policy decisions can't be ground for filing a defamation suit.

"The PP is not a post office", Justice Mishra said.

"If somebody criticizes the policy of the government, if the person criticized is a public figure, he has to face it instead of using the state machinery to choke criticism", the Bench said. State controls and sanctions the public proceedings for defamation. The article appeared in DMK's mouthpiece "Murasoli" on November 21.

The court will hear the Tamil Nadu government's stance on September 22.

The court also observed that "No other state misuses the state machinery like Tamil Nadu Government".

Jayalalithaa, 68, has been brought to court by DMDK leader and former actor Captain Vijaykanth. Elangovan had said the CM and governor had committed irregularities in the appointment of vice chancellors.

The affidavit highlights that defamation cases were filed for statements made on the Chief Minister's vacation spree, criticism of her government for water scarcity and non-fulfillment of poll promises. The matter may be taken up for hearing within a few days, said sources in the prosecutor's office.

His colleague C.R.Saraswathi added: "We are taking the issue in the legal forum.In the recent times opposition parties in Tamil Nadu and some politically oriented media are making personal comments". "You are a public figure, learn to face criticism", the Supreme Court told Jayalalithaa on Wednesday.

While replying to a question, Vijayakanth asked the reporters if they had the courage to pose the same question to Jayalalithaa, and used an "unparliamentary word" against her.

Under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, defamation is a criminal offence.

The Esplanade police registered the complaint and issued a CSR (Community Service Register) certificate.

This is the second time in two months that the apex court has criticised the state government for the flurry of defamation cases. You can't use defamation case to throttle democracy.

Vijaykant is facing 14 defamation cases for criticising the working of the AIADMK government.

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