HC restrains Arappor from making defamatory charges against EPS

Recording the submissions, the judge concluded that the court finds that a prima facie case is made out and the balance of convenience lies in favour of EPS.
Edappadi K Palaniswami; Madras High Court
Edappadi K Palaniswami; Madras High CourtFile

CHENNAI: Observing that the right to free speech does not give a right to an individual to defame others, the Madras High Court on Friday directed the Arappor Iyakkam not to make any defamatory charges against former Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.

Justice Krishnan Ramasamy passed the interim order on hearing a defamation suit filed by EPS to bar Arappor Iyakkam and its representatives from making defamatory charges against the former CM.

Senior Counsel SR Rajagopal representing Palaniswami submitted that Arappor Iyakkam is raising a baseless allegation to defame his client’s name and reputation.

Recording the submissions, the judge concluded that the court finds that a prima facie case is made out and the balance of convenience lies in favour of EPS.

“Since the respondents have been continuing to publish/upload the accusations/insinuations in social media, the irreparable injury would be caused if the interim injunction is not granted,” the judge noted and restrained Arappor and its men from making defamatory charges against EPS in any form.

Justice Ramasamy further pointed out that the Arappor Iyakkam have downloaded various documents from websites and filed in bunch and extracted the same in the complaint.

“The respondents made untenable allegations that the applicant indulged in corruption of crores of rupees and favouritism, etc. only with a malice intention to disrepute his name and fame by uploading the defamatory statements in social media, that too at the timing when the applicant has been appointed as an Interim General Secretary of AIADMK,” the judge observed.

The court further noted that the individual Nagarajan, who is alleged to have been awarded contracts showing favouritism by the applicant is baseless.

The HC held that merely lodging the complaint with DVAC on one side and making defamatory statements on the social media, causing disrepute or defaming the applicant, can be construed as a deliberate act on the part of the respondents.

Advocate Nagasaila for the Arappor Iyakkam submitted that while holding the portfolio of the highways department from 2016 to 2021, he caused a loss of Rs.692 crores to the state exchequer by awarding highways department contracts for laying roads in Thanjavur, Sivaganga and Coimbatore districts to the companies close to EPS. Arappor Iyakkam submitted that in a democracy, no one can mute someone from levelling corruption charges.

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