A division bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday directed former chief minister and opposition leader Edappadi K Palaniswami ( EPS) to file his response in an appeal preferred by Arappor Iyakkam. The appeal was filed for a direction to set aside a gag order passed by a single judge restraining the organisation from making charges against ADMK interim head EPS.

The bench of Justices R Mahadevan and Mohammed Shaffiq passed the direction on hearing the appeal.

Advocate D Nagasaila for the Arappor Iyakkam argued that the order of the single judge passing an injunction against her client had gone beyond the scope of the defamation suit filed by EPS.

“Though Palaniswami filed the suit only for an interim injunction. The single judge had observed several unwarranted things regarding the probability of the former chief minister having committed the alleged irregularities and comments on the tender process and a public figure’s reputation, etc,” the counsel argued.

Recording the submissions, the bench observed that they could not stay the single-judge’s injunction without hearing the opposite party. The case arose from the defamation suit filed by EPS seeking damages to the tune of Rs 1.10 crores from Arappor for making corruption charges.

Arappor Iyakkam alleged that EPS had committed irregularities in awarding the highways department tenders worth to the tune of Rs 692 crore from 2016 to 2021.