AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa has filed a petition in the Madras High Court seeking to quash the summons issued by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate directing her to appear before the court on October 15.

The summons was issued on a petition filed by V. Sabarisan, son-in-law of Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, accusing Ms. Jayalalithaa of making defamatory statements against him in connection with the expired drugs racket.

She made the remarks at public meetings in Coimbatore and in Tiruchi and later in a statement on August 28.

A petition filed in the High Court by her counsel A. Navaneetha Krishnan stated the speeches and statements were bona fide with an intention to save the people of Tamil Nadu from fake drugs. He had no intention to harm Mr. Sabarisan.

“The speeches and statement are not defamatory and are made under freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 19 and 21 of the Constitution,” Ms. Jayalalithaa added.

According to Ms. Jayalalithaa, “motives could not be attributed,” as she had only shared with the public the information received in her capacity as Leader of the Opposition.

“The speeches and statement are coming under exception to Section 400 of the IPC,” she said. Mr. Sabarisan was not legally entitled to file the complaint as he was not “aggrieved.”

Her argument was that the Magistrate had failed to follow the procedure known to law while taking cognizance of the complaint.

“Null and void”

“Since there is no valid cognizance of the offence alleged in the complaint, all the subsequent proceedings are null and void,” she said.

Ms. Jayalalithaa also alleged that the lower court had mechanically, routinely, arbitrarily and without application of mind taken the complaint on file and issued summons for her appearance without any prima facie finding.

Explaining that as Leader of the Opposition she was busily engaged in political activities and not able to appear before the lower court, she sought permission to appear through her lawyers.

Ms. Jayalalithaa also said she had not received the notice sent by Mr. Sabarisan.

She wanted the High Court to quash the order issued by the lower court on September 7 and all the proceedings before it.