The Supreme Court on Wednesday came down heavily on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for using defamation cases against state Opposition leaders. It termed the cases as an attempt to "throttle democracy."

According to a report in NDTV, the apex court came down strongly on the Tamil Nadu CM, telling her 'accept that you are a public figure and learn to take criticism.'

The court observed that, "Tamil Nadu is the only state which misuses state machinery to fight defamation cases."

The Tamil Nadu government has filed more than 200 defamation cases in the last five years, 55 of these are against the media and 85 against the Opposition DMK.

Jayalalithaa, 68, has been brought to court by DMDK leader and former actor Captain Vijaykanth, who has been named in 28 defamation cases for his comments that were critical of Jayalalithaa and her government, said the report.

Vijaykanth, in addition to accusing Jayalalithaa of corruption, has claimed that the floods that wrecked Chennai in December 2015 were artificially caused, and worsened due to mishandling of the situation by the state government.

The Supreme Court will hear the matter next on September 22.