Madras HC quashes defamation case against Tamilisai Soundararajan

The Madras High Court on Tuesday overturned a pending libel case against Telangana governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan in a lower court in Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu.

Although the complaint was filed under section 199, read with 200 CrPC for an offense under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (punishment for libel), the Judicial Magistrate Court had issued a subpoena in under Article 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.

“This clearly shows that the court of first instance disregarded the documents submitted to it, while taking note of the case and said act of the court of first instance, issuing an opinion under the Article 138 of the Law on Negotiable Instruments for an alleged infringement have been committed under Article 500 IPC, shows a manifest non-compliance of the spirit on his part and even on a very short ground, the knowledge taken by the court of first instance turning into CC n ° 212/2017 deserves to be annulled ”, judge M said Dhandapani.

The judge allowed an original criminal petition from Soundararajan seeking to quash the case.

As chairman of the state unit of the earlier Bharatiya Janata party, Soundararajan gave an interview to electronic and print media in 2017, where she called the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), to which the complainant Dhadi Karthikeyan belonged, as a party that ran kangaroo courts and grabbed public lands and made derogatory remarks against the party and its leader, Thol. Thirumavalavan.

On these allegations, a private complaint was lodged by Karthikeyan, invoking article 199, read with 200 of the Cr.PC before the judicial magistrate of Kancheepuram, which was examined and registered by issuing a summons to the petitioner.

Injured, Soundararajan filed the present motion to quash the case.

The judge pointed out that paragraph (6) of Article 199 Cr.PC would only come into play when the declaration alleged to have been made would infringe the right of the person against whom the offense is alleged to have been committed, to lodge a complaint. for this offense before a magistrate having jurisdiction or the power of such a magistrate to take cognizance of the offense on such a complaint.

However, in the present case, as claimed by the applicant, the private complaint was lodged by Karthikeyan, as a member of the political party, against the statements allegedly made against the VCK and its leader.

However, neither the person nor the party allegedly affected by the said statements had given him permission to lodge a complaint.

Karthikeyan, on his own, for reasons he was better acquainted with, had seen fit to file the private complaint. As he was unaffected by the alleged statement, his action to invoke the u / s 500 IPC offense does not deserve to be upheld, the court said.

“Therefore, the private complaint alleging defamation has no basis and the knowledge gained from said complaint deserves to be quashed,” the judge said and therefore quashed.