HC quashes criminal defamation case against Tamilisai

It was filed in 2017 for having accused VCK of indulging in land grabbing

The Madras High Court on Tuesday quashed a criminal defamation case pending against Tamilisai Soundararajan, now Governor of Telangana holding additional charge as Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, before a Judicial Magistrate court in Kancheepuram.

The case was filed for having levelled certain allegations against Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) when she was Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tamil Nadu president in 2017.

Justice M. Dhandapani quashed the case on merits though there was no representation either on behalf of Ms. Soundararajan or the complainant Dhadi K. Karthikeyan of VCK despite adjourning the hearing on quash application on multiple occassions.

Ms. Soundararajan had moved the High Court in 2018 with a plea to quash the defamation case. However, no one represented her when the matter was listed on at least four different days recently. The complainant too remained absent.

Nevertheless, the judge perused the case papers and found that the defamation case had been filed for having accused VCK and its president Thol Thirumavalavan of conducting kangaroo courts and indulging in land grabbing.

Justice Dhandapani pointed out that the private complainant had not submitted any document before the Magistrate to prove that he had been authorised either by VCK or Mr. Thirumavalavan to file the complaint.

“The respondent (Mr. Karthikeyan), on his own accord and for reasons best known to him, has thought it fit to file the private complaint. The respondent not being the person affected, the invocation of Section 500 (criminal defamation) of Indian Penal Code does not merit acceptance,” the judge said.

He also wrote: “The complaint is nothing but an attempt on the part of the respondent to gain political publicity at the cost of judicial time.”

Further, the case should be quashed on the short ground of non application of mind since the Magistrate had issued summons to Ms. Soundararajan asking her to appear in a cheque bounce case though what had been filed was actually a criminal defamation case, the judge said.

Mentioning wrong provisions of law in the summons “is not only ridiculous but also clearly shows non application of mind on the part of the court below in taking cognizance of the issue by issuing summons,” he observed.

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