Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M Karunanidhi’s lawyer Saravanan on Monday said that his client had appeared before the Principal Sessions Judge of the Madras High Court in connection with a criminal defamation case filed against him by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, and added that the latter was misusing the legal clause for her own benefit. “He has appeared to the court in response to summon issued to him in the defamation case filed by the Chief Minster. He marked his presence to highlight even thought there was an option of opting out or dispensing with his appearance. He said he will appear before the court to highlight how this criminal defamation is rampantly misused by this AIADMK government. So, he made his appearance today,” Sarvanan said.
“The appearance has assumed significance in this case.The opposition doesn’t have the power to criticise the government in power. These were the pertinent question raised by the Supreme Court. But inspite of that, the government have gone ahead and filed the defamation,” he added.
Karunanidhi appeared in a Chennai court earlier today in a defamation case filed against him. He said the defamation case is an attempt to threaten publications that do not support Jayalalithaa’s ruling AIADMK. The case was filed in November last year after the DMK mouthpiece Murasoli reproduced an article first published in a popular Tamil magazine “Anantha Vikadan.” The chief minister has alleged that the article is defamatory.
Principal Sessions Judge M. Athinathan had last month asked Karunanidhi and editor Selvam of DMK’s mouthpiece ‘Murasoli’ to appear before the court on January 18, while hearing the criminal defamation cases filed against them by the state government.
The City Public Prosecutor had alleged that Karunanidhi wrote an article in ‘Murasoli’ about the AIADMK Government’s performance in the last four years, which per se was defamatory.