The Madras High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition by Leader of the Opposition Vijayakant seeking to quash the sanction for prosecution and the complaint in a defamation case pending before the Principal District and Sessions Judge, Theni.

Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar dismissed the petition at the admission stage itself. Mr. Vijayakant challenged the sanction order issued by the Public Department on November 22 this year and the complaint.

Mr. Vijayakant addressed a public meeting at Theni on August 2 this year. He contended that a mere criticism of the Chief Minister in his capacity as the Leader of the Opposition could not be a reason for initiating criminal proceedings for defamation. He criticised the government with good intention. There was no malice.

The Judge said a perusal of the statement extracted in the G.O. and the complaint showed that there was prima facie material to proceed against the petitioner for defamation. Whether Mr. Vijayakant had uttered the words mentioned in the G.O. and in the complaint and whether the words tarnished the Chief Minister’s image and whether there was any ill motive were to be established before the criminal court.

As prima facie case was made out to sanction prosecution and the complaint was now pending before the Principal District and Sessions Judge, Theni, no case had been made out to interfere with the impugned G.O. and the complaint, the Judge said.

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