HC stays defamation proceedings against DMK MP R S Bharathi

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Chennai, Apr 23 (PTI) The Madras High Court on Friday stayed criminal defamation proceedings pending against DMK organising secretary and Rajya Sabha MP R S Bharathy before a lower court.

The charge against Bharathi was that he had allegedly made a defamatory statement against the then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at a public meeting in the city in November 2015. Jayalalithaa died in December 2016.

Justice M Nirmal Kumar granted the stay while passing interim orders on a criminal original petition from Bharathi The DMK leader had made the derogatory statement only with an intent to malign Jayalalithaa's reputation in the course of discharge of her public functions and duties, the complaint lodged by the then City Public Prosecutor said.

The petitioner submitted that the complaint was devoid of merit. It did not specify the manner in which the same was related to such discharge of her duties.

The prosecution by the government was mala fide and politically motivated. Hence, the same was liable to be quashed, he said.

His interim prayer was to stay the proceedings pending before the Special Court for MPs and MLAs here.

Justice Nirmal Kumar granted the stay on the proceedings and posted the matter for further hearing on June 15. PTI COR SA NVG NVG