HC allows condole delay in Jaya's appeal petition

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Chennai, Sept 2 (UNI) The Madras High Court today allowed a condole delay in an appeal petition filed by AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa to set-aside the ex-parte order on a defamation suit filed against her by the 'Nakkeeran' Magazine Editor R R Gopal.

Justice M Jeyapaul ordered notice to Mr Gopal, returnable within a week.

In her petition, Ms Jayalalithaa submitted that in 2001, Mr Gopal filed a defamation case and sought damages of Rs two crore against her statement on Kannada actor Rajkumar, who was abducted by forest brigand Veerappan.

''In that case, the court passed an ex-parte order in favour of Mr Gopal in 2004. Due to the lapse on the part of my counsel, reply was not filed by me,'' she contended.

''In the public interest, I made certain remarks about Rajkumar's abduction. It could not be treated as defamatory, and since Veerappan and Rajkumar are no more, this defamatory case is unnecessary, she added.

Ms Jayalalithaa also sought to quash the ex-parte order passed against her.

''Rajkumar's abduction was a planned drama enacted by Veerappan, in which Gopal has a link,'' Ms Jayalalithaa had said in a statement in 2000, which led to the defamation case against her.

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