Chennai, Aug 17: The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday submitted a list of defamation cases it has filed following a directive by the Supreme Court. The list contains the number of defamation cases that the Tamil Nadu government had filed between 2011 and 2016.
The government of TN submitted in the Supreme Court that between 2011 and 2016 it has filed a total of 213 defamation cases. The list also states that out of this 55 defamation cases have been filed against the media. Further it is also stated that 85 cases were filed against the DMK, 9 against the PMK and 7 against the Congress.
In addition to this the government also stated that out of this 28 are against DMDK leader, Vijaykanth alone. Further the government also states that 3 cases have been filed against Subramanian Swamy for his tweets against the government.
The list was filed following a Supreme Court directive to the Tamil Nadu to submit a list of defamation cases it has filed in the past five years. The court issued the directive while staying a non-bailable warrant issued against DMDK leader, Vijaykanth and his wife in connection with a defamation case.
The supreme court had also sought to know from the Tamil Nadu government as to how many defamation cases it has filed in the state.
The Court observed that criticism of a government does not mandate that a defamation case be filed. It also said that if someone terms the government unfit or corrupt, it does not automatically make out a case for defamation.
A defamation case had been filed by the Tamil Nadu government against Vijaykanth following remarks he had made against the government. The Supreme Court had some harsh words for the Tamil Nadu government on the number of defamation cases it had been filing.
The court had observed taken note of the large number of defamation cases filed by Tamil Nadu and said that the public prosecutor must apply his mind. The PP is not a post office, the court also observed.
The counsel for Vijaykanth had argued in court and submitted that aspirations and sometimes desperation of the people are expressed through such criticism.
The citizen's right to criticise cannot be atrophied by constant launching of criminal prosecution for defamation on each and every issue to silence the critics, he had also stated.