The Madras High Court bench here on Wednesday ordered an interim stay on the trial of a defamation case pending against former Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Speaker R. Avudayappan in the Additional District and Sessions Court, Tirunelveli.

Justice C.T.Selvam dispensed with the personal appearance of Mr. Avudayappan in the case and ordered notice to the Public Prosecutor (PP) of the Tirunelveli District and Sessions Court. The trial court had taken cognizance of Mr. Avudayappan’s alleged defamatory statements against the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister based on a complaint submitted by the PP.

The former speaker had filed a petition in the High Court bench to quash the defamation case contending that the case is not maintainable on the grounds that the aggrieved person had not filed the complaint. He also denied issuing the alleged defamatory statements.