HC quashes defamation case against media house

One-liner: The Nagpur bench of the Bombay HC has dismissed a defamation case filed against a leading media house.

Right to report: The bench asserted that the media has the right to report on the registration of FIRs and the publisher is not expected to ascertain the truthfulness behind them before publishing the news.

Complaint dismissed: Justice Vinay Joshi of the HC on June 20 dismissed the criminal complaint of defamation while hearing a petition filed by the media which sought quashing of the criminal proceedings initiated against it.

Facts not verified: The news was related to the registration of an offence against the complainant and his family members, which they alleged was false and defamatory as the publishers had not verified facts before publishing the news.

Responsibility: The complainant submitted that though the applicants were shouldering the responsibility of the items published in the newspaper, they have published the concerned news without verifying its truthfulness. 

  • The complainant alleged that the police report was totally false and frivolous

Not present: The complainant submitted that on the date of the alleged occurrence, the complainant was not present at the scene of the crime. 

Reputation harmed: Later on, his name was dropped from the charge sheet. He alleged that the applicants, without ascertaining the genuineness of the police report, published the news item which harmed his reputation. 

Press freedom: The judge, while quashing the defamation case against the owners of the newspaper, stressed the freedom of the press and the importance of the information that the media provides. 

Bottom line: The liability and responsibility of the editor are restricted to a limited extent. Therefore, the contention in that regard is not acceptable, the court said.

Source: PTI

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