It is necessary that the matters alleged to be defamatory must be stated in the complaint: High Court of Tripura

It is the obligation upon the complainant, at least to reproduce the substance of defamatory statements or words of imputation in gist alleged to have been uttered to enable the accused to know the nature of the allegations that he has to meet in trial. This was held in Sri Subal Kumar Dey V. Sri Gora Chakraborty & Ors[CRL REV. P NO.02 OF 2018] in the High Court of Tripura by single bench consisting of JUSTICE ARINDAM LODH.

Facts are that Petitioner was charged under S.500/501 IPC. The petitioner has thus filed criminal revision petition challenging the order passed by the learned Sessions, affirming the judgment passed by the learned SDJM, wherein the petitioner was sentenced to a fine for the offenses under Section 500/ 502(b) IPC.

The counsel for petitioner contended that there is nothing in detail in the averments, in the complaint or in the sole statement with reference to the imputation. Both the Courts below have failed to appreciate that ingredients of Section 499 Cr.P.C.were not met.

The counsel for respondent contended that there is no need to reproduce the contents of imputation published  and prayed for upholding the judgment and order of conviction and sentence passed by the Sessions court.

The court discussed the essentials requirements for a trial for defamation and made reference to the Apex court judgment in Balraj Khanna vs. Motiram, where in the court had held that, “The purpose or object will be served if the complainant is able to reproduce in his complaint or evidence in a substantial measure the words of imputation alleged to have been uttered. If the statements or the words placed before the Court by the complainant are held to be not defamatory, it will mean that the complainant will have to lose. Therefore, it is to his interest to get a proper adjudication from the Court that as far as possible the words spoken or the statements actually made and which h e alleges to be defamatory are before the Court. … From the point of view of accused also it is necessary that the matters alleged to be defamatory in the complaint must be so stated as to enable the accused to know the nature of the allegations that they have to meet.”

The court also referred to the judgement of Konath Madhavi Amma vs S.M. Sherief And Anr., wherein the Kerala High Court had made following observations, “in the absence of the imputation constituting the offense of defamation in the complaint, the Court cannot enter the complaint on defamation as the mere allegations contained in the complaint without imputation would not be sufficient for the accused as he is entitled to know about the imputation to face the charge.”

Considering the facts of the case and settled proposition of law the Court held,  that the complainant did not make any effort to rectify the defect in the complaint by way of incorporating the imputation alleged to have been made by the accused in his newspaper. Thus he deprived accused of knowledge about the actual cause of action and to defend himself properly. The court set aside the order of sessions judge and allowed the revision petition.

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