Can't Stop Ministers From Speaking On Jayalalithaa's Death: Court

The Madras High Court said freedom of expression was a fundamental right and it cannot an order restraining Tamil Nadu ministers from making statements on J Jayalalithaa's hospitalisation

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Can't Stop Ministers From Speaking On Jayalalithaa's Death: Court

Ms Jayalalithaa was admitted to a hospital in Chennai in September last year before she died

Chennai:  The Madras High Court today declined to restrain Tamil Nadu ministers from making any statements on the hospitalisation of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa last year. A bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and M Sundar said freedom of expression was a fundamental right subject to restrictions and the court cannot pass any blanket order on it.

The bench dismissed a plea which sought a judicial commission of inquiry into the death of Ms Jayalalithaa. The state government has appointed a retired high court judge to look into the matter.

The petitioner, P Muruganandham, an AIADMK worker of Thiruvarur district, had also sought an interim direction to restrain ministers and others from making controversial statements on Ms Jayalalithaa's hospitalisation.

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In his petition, filed before the probe panel was set up, he had said that when the government's motive was to find out the truth, attributing motives to some party leaders by the ministers themselves "will amount to interfering in the functions of the (then) proposed commission of inquiry".

Ms Jayalalithaa was admitted to a hospital in Chennai on September 22 last year. She died on December 5.
 

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