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16 Jan 2021, Edition - 2013, Saturday

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Coimbatore

“We stand vindicated,” DMK asserts after SC raps Jaya on defamation cases

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DMK welcomes SC direction to Jayalalithaa to stop using defamation cases to muzzle opposition

Opposition political parties and media outlets on Wednesday welcomed Supreme Court directions to Tamil Nadu chief minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa to refrain from using defamation as a tool to suppress opposition voices.

Supreme Court observations and directions came on Wednesday to Jayalalithaa to stop misusing government machinery and file defamation cases against political opponents to stifle their voices. Welcoming the decision, DMK spokesperson A Sarvanan said that the observations of the Apex court vindicated the DMK stand that ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu was using defamation cases as a weapon to suppress the opposition as well as freedom of speech. “Which in a democracy is not acceptable at all,” Sarvanan said adding that it was not proper for TN government to be using its machinery to browbeat its political opponents.

In this context, he also mentioned that most of the DMK MLAs were suspended from the assembly lest they criticized the government and chief minister Jayalalithaa in the house.

Reflecting the sentiments of the opposition parties in general, the DMK spokesperson said that the Supreme Court ruling would bring about restraint in the functioning of the government in Tamil Nadu.

“We need to decriminalize defamation cases,” the DMK leader said adding over the past few years of DMK rule, every voice of criticism against the chief minister was stifled.

Congress leader Khushboo hoped that the adverse comments from the Supreme Court would make Jayalalithaa changed her attitude and mended her ways. She should stop bulldozing the opposition through the use of defamation cases.

CPM and CPI leaders too echoed similar sentiments and said in the interests of democracy, dissent and opposition ought not to be stifled. And that too misusing government machinery, they felt and added, the government should pay heed to the directions from the Apex Court.

Media persons and media organizations too welcomed the SC order on Jayalalithaa and her penchant to muzzle the media through defamation cases.

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