The Madras High Court on Thursday stayed proceedings in a criminal defamation case against Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President MK Stalin, PTI reported.

The case was filed against Stalin after he allegedly made controversial remarks about Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami at a public event in Salem on September 18. It was later transferred to a special court in Chennai which is tasked with trying cases against legislators.

In his petition, Stalin said criticising Palaniswami is not the same as damaging the reputation of the chief minister’s office. He added that the trial court had failed to note that the remarks did not amount to defamation, The Times of India reported.

The DMK leader claimed that the complaint had been filed with malicious and political intent to harass him.

The public prosecutor opposed Stalin’s plea, arguing that unsubstantiated allegations against the chief minister constituted criminal defamation and that Stalin was liable to be prosecuted.