"State cannot use criminal defamation cases to throttle democracy", Madras HC junks scores of defamation cases by TN govt against media

"Criminal defamation law is meant for a laudable object in real cases of necessity and cannot be misused by using the State as a tool to settle scores of a public servant/constitutional functionary over an adversary."
"State cannot use criminal defamation cases to throttle democracy", Madras HC junks scores of defamation cases by TN govt against media
Image for representational purposesImage Courtesy: MyAdvtCorner

The Madras High Court on Thursday was prompted to emphasise that criminal defamation proceedings cannot be misused by the State to throttle democracy or settle political scores with adversaries. (N.Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu and ors. v. UOI and ors - Madras High Court order)

Pertinent observations on the subject of State-sanctioned criminal defamation under Section 199 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) were made by Justice Abdul Quddhose while allowing a batch of over 25 petitions by various media houses to quash defamation proceedings launched by the ruling regime over press reports dating between 2011-2013.

The media-houses who had petitioned the Court included The Hindu, Nakheeran, Times of India, Dinamalar, Tamil Muras, Murasoli and Dinakaran.

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