A local court on Wednesday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against DMDK founder and Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu Assembly Vijayakant, after he failed to appear before it in connection with a defamation case filed by the Jayalalithaa government.

Additional district court directed the police to arrest the actor-politician and produce him before it before June 5.

The government advocate has filed the case accusing Mr. Vijayakant of making defamatory remarks against Chief Minister Jayalalithaa during a public meeting at Palayamkottai on August 6 last year. The court had earlier issued notice, directing him to appear on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, in Chennai, DMDK said Mr. Vijayakant would appear before the court on Thursday.

Terming the warrant as “unexpected”, the party in a statement said Mr. Vijayakanth’s urgent meeting with his party MLAs to discuss the issue of them not being allowed to initiate debates in the assembly was the reason for the non-appearance of their leader in the court. It said that he had no intention of disrespecting court orders.

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