Responding to the defamation case filed by Tamil Nadu Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's government, the Supreme Court said that she must be able to face criticism being a public figure.
The court asserted that defamation charges cannot be slapped all the time.
Supreme Court also re-issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister on a petition alleging misuse of defamation law.
"Defamation can't be slapped all the time. This is not the way healthy democracy functions. State controls and sanctions the public proceedings for defamation. You (Jayalalithaa) must exercise restraint while starting any prosecution," the court observed.
The court added, "Criticism for public policy cannot be ground for defamation. Defamation cases can't be slapped for merely reporting on the Chief Minister's health condition."
The apex court further went to claim that no other state misuses the state machinery like the Tamil Nadu government.
This cames days after actor-politician DMDK leader Vijayakanth a filed a petition seeking the quashing of a defamation case filed against him by the state government.
The court will next hear a plea alleging abuse of public office on 22 September.
The apex court had earlier asked the state of Tamil Nadu to submit a list of defamation cases initiated against people for criticising Jayalalithaa or her government.
Vijayakanth, who is known as "captain" and heads the DMDK, was named in a police complaint after he commented that Jayalalithaa is heading a corrupt government.
There are 14 defamation cases against him for his comments criticising the government.--With ANI inputs