The Madras High Court on Friday reserved orders on a file petition by Narada News portal editor Samuel Mathews to quash an FIR registered by the Tamil Nadu police against him on the basis of a criminal defamation complaint made by Chief Minister Edppadi K Palanisami for alleging that he masterminded the dacoity and murder in late Chief Minister J Jayalalitha’s Kodanad estate in April 2017.
The FIR followed the release of a video clipping by Mathews in which burglary accused K V Sayan and ”Walayar” Manoj linked Palanisami with the break-in.
Mathews counsel N R Elango contended that he only made an accusation against one individual, the Chief Minister, and he did not make statement that would promote enmity between groups, as alleged by the police, either in his press conference or in the video released in New Delhi.
Public prosecutor said Palanisami was not just an individual, but Chief Minister of a State and such baseless allegations would cause social unrest.
He also pointed that the two accused who made the accusation had made 22 appearances in the sessions court in Nilgiris where the case was going against them for the past ten months.
Having kept quiet all this while, the two had come out with this charge only now. Without naming the DMK, he said the main opposition party had already held an agitation seeking action against the Chief Minister, Natarajan said.
Justice Anand Venkatesh reserved orders after hearing both sides.
The Supreme Court has already dismissed a PIL filed by “Traffic” Ramaswamy seeking a CBI enquiry into the Kodanad burglary and the four unnatural deaths that followed.