The SC 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 a case for defamation.
A defamation case had been filed by the Tamil Nadu government against Vijaykanth following the remarks he had made against the government. The Supreme Court on earlier occasions too had some harsh words for the Tamil Nadu government on the number of defamation cases it had been filing.
The court had taken a note of the large number of defamation cases filed by Tamil Nadu and said that the Public Prosecutor (PP) 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.