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HC declines to quash proceedings in defamation case against Vaiko, sets aside another

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

The Madras High Court Thursday declined to quash proceedings in a defamation case filed against MDMK chief Vaiko but set aside another.

Justice P N Prakash dismissed the criminal revision petition of the MDMK founder challenging the lower court's order refusing to discharge him in the defamation case filed in 2006 on a complaint by then chief minister M Karunanidhi.

The judge, however, allowed another petition filed by Vaiko seeking to quash a defamation case filed by the DMK in connection with his speech on the alleged attack on film director Bharathiraja's office in 2009.

In the first case, according to prosecution, Vaiko had made defamatory remarks against Karunanidhi in connection with an MDMK party meeting.

Declining to discharge him in the case, Justice Prakash said from the evidence of the five witnesses who had deposed before the trial court, the high court cannot conclude that no case against the accused has been made out.

"As laid down in Section 246 CrPC, when there are grounds for presuming that the accused has committed an offence, he cannot be discharged from the prosecution," he said.

On April 8, the Special Court of Trial for criminal cases related to MPs and MLAs of Tamil Nadu had rejected Vaiko's petition seeking discharge from the case.

Allowing Vaiko's another plea, Justice Prakash said, "The impugned statements attribute the attack on Barathi Raja's office to MK and nothing more."

"The route to prosecute a person for defamation via this section can be resorted only if it is shown that the imputation is qua the conduct of the public servant in the discharge of his public functions and not otherwise.

"On this solitary ground itself, the order impugned in this criminal revision warrants interference and is accordingly set aside," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, June 20 2019. 23:00 IST