CHENNAI: The Madras High Court today stayed the trial in a criminal defamation case filed against former state Minister T.M.Selvaganapathy in a lower court, holding that the stay has been granted in similar matters and it will apply to this case also.
Selvaganapathy had filed two petitions challenging the sanction given by the state government to prosecute him for defamation.
The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam before which the petitions came up, stayed the pending trial before the Principal District and Sessions Judge at Krishnagiri against the former minister.
The government had accorded sanction to file criminal defamation case against the former minister on the speeches made by him on May 15, 2013 criticising chief minister Jayalalithaa.
Senior counsel P. Wilson for Selvaganapathy submitted that the sanction accorded for prosecution was illegal since government gave it without consulting the public prosecutor and got sanction under CrPc section 199.
Selvaganapathy had also sought a direction to quash the criminal complaint and to declare IPC sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) as ultra vires of Articles 19(1), 19(2), 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
He alleged that ever since he quit AIADMK and joined DMK, the ruling party has been searching for ways and means to target him and to foist false cases. Granting stay on the proceedings of the criminal defamation case, the bench said "already in similar matters stay is granted and the same will apply to this case also."