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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Madras HC quashes defamation case against Tamilisai Soundararajan

As the president of Tamil Nadu BJP earlier, Soundararajan had given an interview to the media in 2017, where she termed the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) as a party which was conducting Kangaroo courts and grabbing lands from the public and uttered derogatory remarks against the party and its head, Thol. Thirumavalavan.

By: PTI | Chennai |
September 29, 2021 9:58:43 am
Tamilisai SoundararajanTelangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan.

The Madras High Court on Tuesday set aside a defamation case pending against Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan before a lower court in Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu.

Though the complaint had been filed under Section 199, read with 200 CrPC for an offence under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (punishment for defamation), the Judicial Magistrate Court had issued summons under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.

“This clearly shows that the trial court has not adverted to the materials placed before it, while taking cognizance of the case and the said act of the trial court, in issuing a notice under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act for an offence alleged to have been committed under Section 500 IPC, exhibits clear non-application of mind on its part and even on the very short ground, the cognizance taken by the trial court transforming itself into C.C. No.212/2017 deserves to be quashed,” Justice M Dhandapani said.

The judge was allowing a criminal original petition from Soundararajan seeking to quash the case.

As the president of the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party earlier, Soundararajan gave an interview to the electronic and print media in 2017, where she termed the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), to which the complainant Dhadi Karthikeyan belonged to, as a party which was conducting Kangaroo courts and grabbing lands from the public and uttered derogatory remarks against the party and its head, Thol. Thirumavalavan.

On the said averments, a private complaint was filed by Karthikeyan, invoking Section 199, read with 200 of the Cr.PC before the Judicial Magistrate in Kancheepuram, which was entertained and taken on file by issuing summons to the petitioner.

Aggrieved, Soundararajan filed the present petition to quash the case.

The judge pointed that sub-section (6) of Section 199 Cr.P.C. would come into play only when the statement alleged to have been made affected the right of the person against whom the offence was reportedly committed, to make a complaint in respect of that offence before a Magistrate having jurisdiction or the power of such Magistrate to take cognizance of the offence upon such complaint.

However, in the case on hand, as contended by the petitioner, the private complaint has been filed by Karthikeyan, as a member of the political party, against the statements alleged to have been made against the VCK and its leader.

However, neither the person nor the party, which was alleged to have been affected by the said statements, had given any authorisation to him to file the complaint.

Karthikeyan, on his own accord, for reasons best known to him, had thought it fit to file the private complaint. Him being not affected by the alleged statement, his action of invoking the offence u/s 500 IPC does not merit acceptance, the court said.

“Therefore, the private complaint alleging defamation has no legs to stand on and the cognizance taken on the said complaint deserves to be quashed,” the judge said and accordingly set it aside.

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