Petitions over Jayalalithaa's death: Concern or publicity stunt?

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Two petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court seeking investigations into Jayalalithaa's death. Telugu Yuva Shakti, a Chennai-based NGO, was the first to seek a probe followed by expelled All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Sasikala Pushpa. While the petitions sought redressal in the Supreme Court, they went to the media at the same time. The expelled party member and the NGO have drawn criticism for approaching the media for redressal, a tactic being accused as a mere publicity stunt.

The Supreme Court had once famously observed, 'If a person is seeking redressal in the media then a Public Interest Litigation will be viewed as a Publicity Interest Litigation.' The Supreme Court has observed on various occasions that while seeking redressal the petitioners are advised to avoid speaking to the media until and unless a notice has been issued.

Jayalalithaa

There have also been instances of courts pulling up petitioners seeking redressal before the media. Courts have warned that unless cognisance of the petition is taken, the petitioners are not supposed to approach the media.

[Also Read: Expelled Aiadmk MP wants CBI to probe Jayalalithaa's death]

In the Gen V K Singh defamation case of 2012, the court had pulled up the petitioner Lt General Tejinder Singh for 'overreaching and pressuring the court'. A Metropolitan Magistrate observed that, "the tone and tenor of this application reflects an apparent attempt to overreach, browbeat and pressurising this court into falling into lines of dictates of the counsel for the complainant. It seems the counsel for the complainant, on each and every date, is taking advantage of wide media coverage this case is receiving and has been repeatedly pressuring this court for shorter dates."

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