Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge Against Madras HC Order On Defamation Case Against Edappadi K…. – Live Law – Indian Legal News

Chennai News

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition challenging Madras High Court’s order of quashing defamation proceedings against All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader Edappadi K. Palaniswami and former party leader O. Panneerselvam.

The plea was filed by VA Pugazhendi, former spokesperson of the AIADMK party, who had filed a defamation case against Edappadi K. Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam after he was expelled from the party. The matter was heard by a bench comprising Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit, Justices Ravindra Bhat and Ajay Rastogi.

Right at the outset, the CJI said no case of defamation had been made out in the petition.

How is this defamation? You join a political party. They don’t like you. They throw you out. That too only an internal show cause notice was sent to you,” said CJI Lalit.

Accordingly, the petition was dismissed.


The petitioner, VA Pugazhendi was associated with the AIADMK and eventually was made the State Secretary of Karnataka State. After the demise of the Former Chief Minister, J. Jayalalitha and the subsequent split of the AIADMK party, the petitioner joined the group led by TTV Dinakaran in 2016. Later in 2020, the respondents in the matter (Edappadi K. Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam) who were the Joint Co-ordinator and Coordinator of the party, admitted the petitioner into the party and also appointed him as the Official Spokesperson. Both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam have served as chief ministers of Tamil Nadu in the past.

In 2021 the petitioner was expelled from the party. According to the petitioner, the letter communicating the expulsion had vague and baseless allegations against him and directed other AIADMK cadres not to have any contact with him. As per the petitioner, the news of his expulsion reached all nooks and corners of Tamil Nadu and was widely circulated in all News Channels, Papers, Online Media etc. Thus, he submitted that the respondents had, with a criminal intent, tarnished his image. He therefore filed a private complaint against them for the offence of defamation under Sections 499 and 500 of IPC.

As per the respondents, the expulsion notice issued to the petitioner was a routine one and was necessitated to run the party in a disciplined manner. Further, the respondents stated that since the petitioner was representing the party in public as an official spokesperson, the decision to remove him from the party was necessary to be informed to the general public as well as to the party cadres.

The Madras High Court in its order had observed that the petitioner’s primary grievance was with respect to the manner in which he was expelled and that could not be remedied through a defamation case. It had further opined that the expulsion letter did not contain any imputation that other party cadres must not have any contact with the petitioner. Accordingly, stating that disciplinary actions were usually communicated to the party members through media and that the expulsion letters were issued in a usual format, the Madras High Court had quashed the defamatory proceedings.

CASE TITLE: VA Pugazhendi v OPS