The had made remarks on the personal life of former CM Jayalalithaa
The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has quashed criminal proceedings against three DMK functionaries pending before trial courts in Dindigul and Virudhunagar districts. The DMK members had made remarks on the personal life of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
The court was hearing separate petitions filed by Aarur Senthamilan who sought to quash the proceedings pending before Dindigul court and that of Kuttus Gurusamy and Illa Pugalenthi who sought to quash the proceedings pending before the Srivilliputtur court in Virudhunagar district.
In both the cases, the Public Prosecutor filed a private complaint against the petitioners and sanction for prosecution was obtained as per Section 199 (4) CrPC. The petitioners argued that the public prosecutor was not competent to file the private complaint on behalf of the Chief Minister.
The entire speech was with regard to the personal life of the former Chief Minister and not with the reference to the discharge of any public function. As per Section 199 (2) CrPC, the public prosecutor can file a complaint for defamation only if it was in connection with the discharge of duties of a public servant in connection with the affairs of the State. The complaint was filed out of political vendetta, they said.
Justice G. Ilangovan observed that the text of the speeches showed that it was not in good taste. The speeches were made in connection with the private life of, and not in connection with the discharge of duties in the capacity of Chief Minister.
Relying on Supreme Court and Madras High Court judgements, the judge observed that if at all a private complaint was to be filed, it ought to have been filed only by the affected party – the former Chief Minister. The office of the Public Prosecutor cannot be engaged for this purpose, the judge said and quashed the trial court proceedings against the DMK members.
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