The Madras High Court on August 23 advised former Chief Ministers Edappadi K. Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) to move applications before a special court seeking exemption from personal appearance in a criminal defamation case filed against them by former party spokesperson V. Pugazhendhi who was ousted for indulging in “anti-party activities”.
Justice M. Nirmal Kumar told senior counsel Vijay Narayan that applications could be filed under Section 317 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to dispense with their appearance on August 24. If the special court passes any adverse order, then the duo could approach the High Court for appropriate relief, he said.
The judge said so when the senior counsel insisted on early hearing of cases filed by them for quashing the criminal defamation case. It was brought to his notice that the special court had issued summons requiring the presence of the two AIADMK leaders on August 24 and hence there was an urgency in hearing the quash petitions.
After hearing him out, the judge said it had been his consistent practice to hear petitions related to the special court, constituted for trying cases booked against legislators, only on Fridays. Hence, he asked the quash petitioners to first move a petition before the special court seeking exemption from appearance.
If the special court does not entertain the plea, then the matter could be mentioned before the High Court, he said.