Orders reserved on plea on cases against ex-CMs

The Madras High Court on Monday reserved orders on petitions filed by former Chief Ministers Edappadi K. Palaniswami and

O. Panneerselvam to quash a criminal defamation case filed against them by expelled AIADMK spokesperson

V. Pugazhendhi. The case was pending before a special court for hearing cases pending against sitting and former legislators. Justice

M. Nirmal Kumar directed the special court to adjourn the hearing until he delivers his verdict on the plea to quash the case. He also dispensed with the personal appearance of the two former Chief Ministers before the trial court after senior counsel Vijay Narayan told the judge that the special court had issued summons to them and they were expected to appear on Tuesday.

Mr. Narayan said Mr. Pugazhendhi was expelled for indulging in anti-party activities and that there was nothing defaming in the communication issued by the two former CMs, in their capacity as co-coordinator and coordinator of the party, asking the partymen to not maintain any contact with him. He said, it was a usual format in which every party expels its members and communicates the decision to its cadres.

He pointed out that Mr. Pugazhendhi was expelled in 2017 and then re-admitted in the party. On the other hand, advocate N.G.R. Prasad, representing the complainant, contended that the two party leaders had cast aspersions on him and accused him of having indulged in anti-party activities though he had not indulged in any such activity.

Stating that his client had been a member of AIADMK for past 30 years and held various positions, he said asking the party cadres not to have any contact with him clearly amounted to defaming him without any rhyme or reason.

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