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Defamation proceedings against Dainik Jagran Editor quashed by Allahabad High Court; Finds NO Positive Allegations

By LawStreet News Network      28 March, 2022 07:53 PM      0 Comments
Dainik Jagran Editor Allahabad High Court Defamation

The Allahabad High Court has quashed the summoning order against Editor of Dainik Jagran, for an article that was contested to be defamatory in nature. Dainik Jagran is a daily newspaper published in India, which has an enormous outreach. 

The respondent in this case filed a complaint with the concerned Magistrate under Section 500 Indian Penal Code, 1860, alleging that a news item was published in the Bareilly edition of Dainik Jagaran , alleging defamatory and malicious imputation against the complainant, and that the accused persons had acted to defame him as a result of the said publication. It was also claimed that a case for attempted murder and assault had been filed, despite the fact that he and his brother are well-known and respected individuals who have never been engaged in any criminal matter. 

The applicant's counsel argued that the Editor-in-Chief is not accountable for day-to-day reporting in local editions, which is done under the supervision and expertise of editors and local reporters. He claimed that the applicant had no knowledge of the reports published in the local edition and could not have been charged as an accused because there were no specific allegations against him. He also claimed that the Magistrate was not justified in summoning him because there were no positive allegations against him.

The learned Magistrate further neglected to consider that one of the complainant's witnesses is his biological brother, while the other is a close cousin, and there is no independent witness.

It was further argued that because there was no purpose to harm the other party's image in this case, Section 500 of the IPC, 1860 was not relevant. The applicant has no personal animosity towards the other party. He claimed that the summoning order was issued against the applicant without the application of judicial thought and without providing any cause, and that it was an abuse of the court's and law's procedure. He cited K.M. Mathew vs. State of Kerala & ANR, 1991 Latest Caselaw 301 SC, Jaibrat Roy Chief Editor Rashtriya Sahara vs. State of Uttar Pradesh, Vivek Goenka vs. State of Maharashtra, and other cases.

On the other side, learned AGA said that the news item published in the daily newspaper was based on completely false facts, as evidenced by the police report. It was also claimed that the news item was based on incorrect information in order to bring the complainant and his family into shame. The Court recognised right away that the complaint makes no specific allegations about the petitioner. It said that because the petitioner is Editor-in-Chief, the legal bar will apply to him in the absence of specific complaints against him.

The Court accordingly allowed the petition under Section-482 CrPC, 1973, and quashed the defamation proceedings. 

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