New Delhi: Coming down hard on Tamil Nadu Chief Minster J Jayalalithaa, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said, you are a public figure and must face criticism.
Issuing fresh notice to Jayalalithaa on a plea alleging abuse of power by her, a bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice C Nagappan said, slapping of defamation cases against people for criticising government policies is not the way a healthy democracy functions.
Issuing notice on the plea of DMDK leader Vijaykant, the apex court said, "No other state misuses the state machinery like Tamil Nadu state government," adding, "defamation cases can't be slapped for merely reporting on CM's health condition".
Vijaykant had filed a petition challenging the filing of several defamation cases against him by the State for criticising Jayalalithaa and her policies.
The top court's tough words came after, Jayalalithaa-led government informed SC that 131 defamation cases were filed against the people for criticising the government and its policies.
Rebuking Jayalalithaa, SC said, questioning policy decisions can't be ground for filing a defamation suit.
The apex court said defamation suit is not a weapon and it cannot be used to throttle democracy.