Upgrad
LCI Learning

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn

Share on Email

Share More

Defamation Ruling: Upholding Reputation And Fair Trial Process

Varsha Rajesh ,
  15 April 2024       Share Bookmark

Court :
High Court Of Karnataka At Bengaluru
Brief :

Citation :
CRL.P No. 1987 of 2017

CASE TITLE:

JAGAN CHANDY vs. JAGADISH K.A.

DATE OF ORDER:

27TH OF MARCH 2024

JUDGE:

HON'BLE MR JUSTICE SURAJ GOVINDARAJ

PARTIES: 

PETITIONER – JAGAN CHANDY, SON OF LATE M.C. CHANDY

RESPONDENT – JAGADISH K.A., SON OF LATE MAJOR K.R.A. GOWDA.

SUBJECT:  

The subject of the case appears to be related to a criminal petition filed by Jagan Chandy seeking to quash the entire proceedings in C.C. No. 1524 of 2017 in the court of II Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bengaluru. The specific details of the case suggest that it involves allegations of defamation made by Jagan Chandy against Jagadish K.A. during a general meeting of the Bangalore Club.

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE,1974

  • Section 470: This section deals with the computation of the period of limitation in certain cases under the Code of Criminal Procedure, such as when the institution of prosecution has been stayed by an injunction or order, or when notice of prosecution has been given. It outlines how time is to be calculated for legal proceedings in such situations.
  • Section 468 of the Code of Criminal Procedure: This section pertains to the bar against taking cognizance of certain offenses after the lapse of the period of limitation. It specifies the time limits within which certain offenses must be prosecuted and the consequences of not doing so within the prescribed time frame.
  • Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC): This section deals with defamation, which is the act of making a statement that injures a person's reputation. Section 499 outlines what constitutes defamation and the punishments for it under the Indian Penal Code.
  • Section 198 of the Code of Criminal Procedure outlines the process by which a complaint regarding defamation can be filed, including who can file such a complaint and the requirements for initiating legal action in such cases.
  • Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure empowers the High Court to exercise its inherent jurisdiction to pass orders for various purposes, including quashing of FIRs or criminal proceedings that are found to be frivolous or abuse of the process of law.

GENERAL CLAUSES ACT, 1897

  • Section 3(65) of the General Clauses Act, 1897: This section defines "local authority" and "municipality" for the purpose of the General Clauses Act, which is a statute that provides interpretation rules for various laws enacted by the Indian Parliament.
  • Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC): This section deals with defamation, which is the act of making a statement that injures a person's reputation. Section 499 outlines what constitutes defamation and the punishments for it under the Indian Penal Code.

BRIEF FACTS

  • The petitioner called the respondent a "rowdy sheeter" at a general meeting held at the Bangalore Club.
  • Respondent Jagadish K.A. filed a private complaint against petitioner Jagan Chandy, alleging defamation, under Section 200 of the Code of Criminal Procedure read with Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The II Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Bengaluru issued a criminal process in C.C. No. 1524/2017 as a result of the complaint. 
  • Jagan Chandy, the petitioner, filed a request with the court to annul the proceedings in C.C. No. 1524/2017, arguing that the order of cognizance was unlawfully obtained through a number of procedural flaws, including the way the order was recorded.
  • The case involved considerations of defamation under Section 499 IPC, the procedural requirements for recording statements of witnesses, the timing of taking cognizance by the court, and the application of relevant sections of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Penal Code.

QUESTIONS RAISED

  • Whether, at the time of filing a complaint under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the names of witnesses are required to be mentioned, and their statements recorded before the issuance of process?
  • Whether the order of cognizance taken on a specific date, which is beyond the period of three years from the date on which the alleged offenses occurred, could be considered valid by the Magistrate?
  • Whether the order of cognizance recorded by the Magistrate in typed format, instead of in his own handwriting as required by the Criminal Rules of Practice, is valid or should be quashed?
  •  Whether the statements made by the petitioner, referring to the respondent as a "rowdy sheeter" during a general meeting at the Bangalore Club, constitute defamation under Section 499 IPC, and whether the lack of specific witnesses or statements in the complaint affects the validity of taking cognizance?

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANT

  • The petitioner said that he was telling the truth when he called the respondent a "rowdy sheeter" at a Bangalore Club general meeting. Truthfulness, the petitioner contended, ought to disprove any allegation of slander. 
  • The attorney for the petitioner brought up procedural issues with the magistrate's order of cognizance. It was asserted that the order ought to be deemed unlawful and overturned because it was typewritten rather than handwritten, as required by the Criminal Rules of Practice.
  • The petitioner's attorney stressed that the lawsuit was devoid of specifics, including witness names and statements to back up the defamation claim. It was maintained that the court should not have granted cognizance in the absence of such data. 
  • Concerning the proceedings' delay, the petitioner further emphasized that the respondent was not to blame for the case's delays. The petitioner contended that the respondent was not to blame for the delay and that it would not affect the trial's ability to proceed. 

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT

  • The petitioner called the respondent a "rowdy sheeter" at a general meeting held at the Bangalore Club, and the respondent claimed that the petitioner's remarks were defamatory. The respondent contended that these remarks violated Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code since they were defamatory and harmed his reputation. 
  • The respondent's attorney underlined that the defamation suit should not be dismissed because the complaint did not name any specific witnesses or remarks. It was maintained that, even in the absence of specific reference to witnesses, the petitioner's defamatory remarks were sufficient to prove the violation.
  • The respondent also addressed the matter of the proceedings' delays, claiming that he was not to blame for them. It was emphasized that the respondent complied with the legal process by giving evidence and documentation on time and that he was not responsible for any delays. 
  • The counsel for the respondent contended that the reputation of the respondent in his social circle and professional associations was being harmed by the petitioner's unrelenting accusations and rejection of the Enquiry Committee's conclusions. It was claimed that this continuous harm demonstrated the effects of the defamatory remarks. 

ANALYSIS BY THE COURT

  • The court ruled that the allegations made by the petitioner against the respondent, including labelling him as a "rowdy sheeter" and other defamatory statements, constituted defamation under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code.
  • The court determined that the order of cognizance issued by the Magistrate, even though typed instead of being handwritten as required, was valid and did not affect the legality of taking cognizance.
  • The court held that the absence of specific witnesses or statements in the complaint did not invalidate the claim of defamation. The court emphasized that the nature of the defamatory statements made by the petitioner was sufficient to establish the offense.
  • The court addressed the issue of delay in the proceedings and concluded that the respondent was not responsible for the delays. The court acknowledged the respondent's cooperation with the legal process and ruled that the delays should not impact the continuation of the trial.
  • The court's ruling maintained the petitioner's defamation claim, supported the magistrate's order of cognizance, highlighted how strong the defamation claims were, and made it clear who was to blame for the case's delays.

CONCLUSION

The Court in the case discussed in the document found in favour of the respondent, upholding the defamation claim against the petitioner. The court determined that the statements made by the petitioner, including labelling the respondent as a "rowdy sheeter" and other defamatory remarks, constituted defamation under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code. Despite procedural issues such as the typed format of the order of cognizance and the absence of specific witnesses or statements in the complaint, the court ruled in favour of the respondent, emphasizing the damaging nature of the statements made by the petitioner.

All things considered, the court's decision in this case serves as a reminder of the legal ramifications of making defamatory remarks and the significance of adhering to the correct legal procedures in such circumstances.


 

 
"Loved reading this piece by Varsha Rajesh?
Join LAWyersClubIndia's network for daily News Updates, Judgment Summaries, Articles, Forum Threads, Online Law Courses, and MUCH MORE!!"



Published in Others
Views : 292




Comments