The above was opined by the Calcutta High Court in the case of Afshan Meerza vs The State Of West Bengal & Anr, C.R.R. 1484 of 2016 With CRAN 9 of 2018 (Old No: CRAN 1723 of 2018) that was presided over by the Honourable Justice Rai Chattopadhay on 23rd December 2022.
FACTS OF THE CASE
In a nutshell, the complaint asserts, among other things, that he is Nasma Tunnessa Begum’s son and the grandson of the late Nawab Wasif Ali Mirza. The complainant claims that the present petitioner is not related to Nawab’s family and is therefore not eligible to inherit any of Nawab’s property. The complainant further disputes any claim that the present petitioner is related to the Nawab family. The petitioner’s interest in Nawab’s family property is only motivated by her avarice, it is claimed.
It is further alleged that the complainant learned about the publication of a defamatory story in the newspaper ‘Murshidabader Gramin Sambad’ on October 25, 2013, in which the complainant was referred to as an “illegitimate son” from one of his acquaintances from Berhampore. This, in the complainant’s opinion, has diminished his standing among the general public. That the current petitioner/accused person made this claim, and the other accused person no. 2 published it knowing it to be inaccurate and with the intent to diminish the complainant’s standing in the eyes of the general public.
It is claimed that the complainant has suffered dishonour and also hostility in the eyes of the general public as a result of the newspaper’s publication of such news at the request of the current petitioner, as noted above, and his dignity has been diminished.
JUDGEMENT OF COURT
In legal terms, defamation refers to assaulting someone else’s reputation through a false publication that serves to discredit the target. It is cliché to state that, in order to violate Section 499 of the IPC, there must be imputation, which is a necessary element, and that imputation must be made in accordance with the provisions of that section with the intent to harm or with reasonable cause to believe that doing so will harm the reputation of the subject of the imputation. Under the aforementioned requirements, the intended harm done to the complainant’s reputation must be inferred from the complaint’s declared language in order to support legal action.
All of these lead this court to the conclusion that it would be unlawful and grossly misuse the court’s process to allow the criminal prosecution against the petitioner to move forward. This revision case is deemed to be permissible on this basis.
CRR 1484 of 2016 is therefore approved. In relation to C.R. Case No. 448 of 2014, in the court of Judicial Magistrate, 1st Court, Berhampore, Murshidabad, all previous and subsequent proceedings involving the current petitioner are invalidated and set aside.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY SAYANTANI RAKSHIT