38.6c New Delhi, India, Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Judiciary

Advocate Who Acted Professionally as Per Client's Instruction Cannot Be Made Criminally Liable for Defamation: Madras HC

By Rocky Das      05 October, 2020 11:36 AM      0 Comments
MadrasHc Advocate Criminally Liable for Defamation

Recently, Madras High Court in a case for hearing before it held that, an advocate who acted professionally as per the instruction of his or her client cannot be made criminally liable for offence of defamation under Section 500 unless the contrary is alleged and established. A criminal defamation case was filed against the lawyer and the committee of the creditors alleging that the statements made in the application were defamatory.

In this case, the lawyer and other accused approached the High Court seeking to squash the complaint and filed an application on behalf of the committee of the creditors to remove the complainant and seeking appointment of another Resolution Professional under section 27 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.

Rahul Tamaskar, Advocate for the petitioner contended that the petitioner was acting strictly in the performance of his professional duty and he enjoyed privilege while acting as such. The High Court was of the view that the petitioner was liable to be given benefit for the ninth exception (imputation made in good faith by a person for the protection of his or others' interests) to section 499 (defamation) IPC. It was also noted that the petitioner drafted the plaint on the basis of information provided by his client, the plaintiff.

The Madras High Court observed, “that an Advocate who acted professionally as per the instruction of his/her clients, cannot be made criminally liable for the offence of defamation under section 500 IPC unless the contrary is alleged and established”.

Referring to a judgment in Ayeasha Bi Vs. Peerkhan Sahib reported in AIR 1954 Mad 741, Justice GK Ilanthiraiyan, observed:

‘It is held that a lawyer is an advocate, one who speaks for another. Naturally beyond what his client tells him the lawyer has no opportunity to test the truth or falsity of the story put forward by the client. Therefore no lawyer could ever be prosecuted for defamation in regard to any instructions which he might have given to his lawyer because it is the lawyer's business to decide whether he could properly act upon the instructions and whatever responsibility might ensue from acting upon that instruction would be his, and no one else's is opposed to the entire trend of decisions defining the scope and extent of the privilege conferred upon the lawyer’.

In such view of the matter, the criminal proceedings pending against the petitioner before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jabalpur was quashed. [Arun Thakur v. the State of Chhattisgarh, decided on 10-05-2019]

The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India and also various High Courts repeatedly held that an advocate who acted professionally as per the instruction of his or her client cannot be made criminally liable for offence of defamation under Section 500 unless the contrary is alleged and established.

The court then quashed the entire complaint observing that allegations made in the application filed on behalf of the members of COC are not defamatory in nature.



Share this article:



Leave a feedback about this
TRENDING NEWS

jain-community-dresses-up-as-muslims-to-buy-124-goats-saves-them-from-bakrid-slaughter
Trending News Updates
Jain Community dresses up as Muslims to buy 124 Goats , saves them from Bakrid slaughter

Jain community in Delhi raises Rs 15 lakh, dresses as Muslims to buy and rescue 124 goats from Bakrid slaughter, garnering praise and attention.

18 June, 2024 01:19 PM
act-fairly-admit-if-any-mistake-conducted-in-neet-ug-sc-tells-nta
Trending Judiciary
Act fairly, admit if any mistake conducted in NEET UG, SC tells NTA

SC tells NTA to act fairly, admit mistakes in NEET UG. The court stresses thorough investigation and timely action to ensure students’ confidence.

18 June, 2024 05:26 PM

TOP STORIES

karan-johar-moves-bombay-high-court-against-film-shaadi-ke-director-karan-aur-johar
Trending CelebStreet
Karan Johar moves Bombay High Court against film ‘Shaadi Ke Director Karan Aur Johar’

Karan Johar files a lawsuit in Bombay High Court against the film “Shaadi Ke Director Karan Aur Johar,” seeking to prevent the use of his name in the title.

13 June, 2024 12:01 AM
conspired-to-transform-india-into-an-islamic-country-by-2047-bombay-hc-denies-bail-to-3-islamists-pfi-members
Trending Judiciary
Conspired to transform India into an Islamic country by 2047: Bombay HC denies bail to 3 Islamists PFI members [Read Order]

Bombay High Court denies bail to three PFI members accused of plotting to turn India into an Islamic state by 2047, citing strong evidence and risk of tampering.

13 June, 2024 12:37 AM
delhi-hc-refuses-to-stay-neet-ug-admissions-counselling-over-paper-leak-allegations
Trending Judiciary
Delhi HC refuses to stay NEET-UG admissions counselling, over paper leak allegations

Delhi High Court refuses to stay NEET-UG 2024 counselling amidst allegations of irregularities.

13 June, 2024 12:48 PM
centre-to-hold-re-test-for-1563-candidates-awarded-grace-marks-in-neet-ug-2024
Trending Judiciary
Centre to hold re-test for 1563 candidates awarded grace marks in NEET UG, 2024 [Read Order]

Centre to hold re-test for 1563 candidates awarded grace marks in NEET UG 2024. Date for re-test to be notified on June 13, results by June 30.

13 June, 2024 01:39 PM

ADVERTISEMENT


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email