Sunday, December 10, 2023

Madras High Court restrains Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin from making defamatory allegations against AIADMK General Secretary E Palaniswami

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The High Court of Madras on Thursday granted a two-week interim injunction against Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin, restraining him from making defamatory allegations against All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) General Secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS).

The single-judge Bench of Justice R.N. Manjula, however, clarified that this injunction would pertain only to defamatory or damaging statements linking EPS to the Kodanad murder case or making unverified claims of corruption against him. 

The orders were passed on a defamation suit filed by Senior Advocate Vijay Narayan on behalf of EPS, seeking direction from the High Court to restrain the Tamil Nadu Cabinet Minister from linking the name of EPS with the 2017 Kodanad murder case and accusing the AIADMK General Secretary of corruption charges.

EPS had filed a suit against Stalin seeking damages worth Rs 1.1 crore alleging that the Minister levelled in a statement made and posted on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) on September 7, in the aftermath of the outcry over Stalin’s speech on Sanatana Dharma. 

Narayan told the Court that all the allegations made by Stalin against EPS were unverified and had caused much damage to his reputation. He said that Stalin had gone on to post such comments on his X account and the same were viewed by lakhs of people. 

The High Court recorded in its order that since the said defamatory content was made in a written form and shared in social media, EPS had made a prima facie case for grant of an interim injunction. 

It noted that the allegations affected the plaintiff’s reputation. In the present case, the balance of convenience as of now seemed to be in favour of the plaintiff. Since allowing the defendant (Stalin) to continue making defamatory statements against the plaintiff would be damaging, an interim order of injunction as prayed for by the plaintiff has been made for two weeks, added Justice Manjula.

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