A person’s philosophical expectations in public life cannot be accepted as legal arguments, says HC

Sentencing four neighborhood members for circulating pamphlets calling a municipal president mentally unstable

Sentencing four neighborhood members for circulating pamphlets calling a municipal president mentally unstable

The Madras High Court said it cannot expect a person complaining of criminal libel to be so philosophically elevated to understand that in these times when irregularities, corruption and nepotism had become so mainstream and deep-rooted, any leader of a local agency who oversteps the line of other ward members or councilors will only be labeled as “mentally unstable.”

Judge D. Bharatha Chakravarthy made the observation while upholding the conviction of four former ward members of Vridhachalam Municipality under Section 500 (Criminal Libel) of the Indian Penal Code for printing and circulating a leaflet describing the president at the time, Mr. Valluvan, an eye surgeon, as mentally unstable because he was fussy and uncooperative.

The judge, however, canceled the six months’ imprisonment imposed by the court of first instance and ordered the convicts S. Ramu, Pushpavenkatavenu and Mohammed Kani to pay the amount of the fine alone. Of the total fine, Rs. 2,000 is to be paid as compensation to the plaintiff, he ordered. Although another convict, Durairajulu, also appealed, he died while awaiting trial.

Recalling the history of the case, the judge pointed out that Dr. Valluvan had filed a private complaint against the four members of the district in January 2004. According to the complainant, he tried to clean up the system by eradicating corruption but the four members of the district, representing different political parties, joined hands and defamed him by presenting him as mentally unstable.

After the trial, a judicial magistrate in Vridhachalam sentenced all four of them in September 2010 and the verdict was also upheld by a sessional court in August 2014, leading to this petition for review. After reading a response given by the defendants’ lawyer to a legal notice issued by the plaintiff before the filing of the complaint, the judge came to the conclusion that the leaflet had been printed by them.

The response reads: “Thus, your client’s behavior on various occasions has caused my clients to doubt your client’s sanity… The brochure allegedly published by my client can in no way be defamatory. They are informative. After extracting it, the judge said, “Therefore, I consider that the plaintiff has proved beyond any doubt that the leaflet is printed and distributed by the defendant.”

Rejecting the argument made by the convicts that a person in public life must be thick-skinned, the judge said philosophical expectations could not be accepted as legal assertions. “After all, the plaintiff came to court shouting that in addition to being the president of the municipality, he is an eye surgeon by profession and the insinuation damaged his reputation even professionally, he said. -he adds.

About Leslie Schwartz

Check Also

Helical Network announces the release of the Empowering book, “Natural Philosophy”.

“For the propagation of life, beyond the life expectancy of the Earth.” – Helical LOS …