Madras High Court directed the trail court to consider the petitioners grounds in a case of defamation and Dispose it in 3 months.

TITLE. L. Murugan Vs. Murasoli Trust.

Decided On: September 5, 2023.

Criminal Original Petition No.10277 & Crl.M.P.No.6094 of 2022. 

CORAM:  Hon’ble Mr. Justice N. Anand Venkatesh.  


The petitioner is the former State President of the Bharatiya Janata Party and presently, he is the Minister of State in the Central Government. Certain alleged defamatory statements were made by the petitioner when he attended a press meet on 28.12.2020. The Respondent appealed that the statements were made by the petitioner with an ulterior motive to degrade and tarnish the reputation of the Murasoli Trust in the eyes of the general public. After the said statements were made by the petitioner in the press meet and they were published in the newspapers, a legal notice dated 29.12.2020 was issued to the petitioner calling upon him to withdraw the defamatory statements and to tender unconditional apology. The petitioner, in spite of receiving the said legal notice, failed to respond to the same. The respondent filed a private complaint against the petitioner for offences under Sections and 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code. Hence, the petitioner appealed this Court.

Legal Analysis and Decision:

The petitioner passed a comment in the press conference that the Murasoli Trust is functioning in the panchami land. The Respondents Stated that the petitioner was again and again trying to project as if the Murasoli Trust is functioning in a property without any right or title and thereby the petitioner was intentionally causing loss of reputation to the Murasoli Trust in the mind of the general public. In an offence of defamation, the statements have to be tested only from the point of view of a common prudent man, who comes across the defamatory statements made. Even if the petitioner thinks that there was no imputation and that he had merely put a question, such statements will be understood by others as if the petitioner is repeatedly questioning the right and title of the property, over which, the Murasoli Trust is functioning and he also wants to drive home the point that it is functioning in the panchami land. That is how the respondent has understood the statements made by the petitioner and even in the complaint, the allegations have been made to the effect that many others had understood it in the same manner and started making enquiries with the respondent. The petitioner made statements during a press meet and they were also published in the newspapers the next day. Hence, there is no difficulty in rendering a finding that the second limb of the ingredients under Section 499 of the IPC is also satisfied.The respondent has taken a very specific stand that the complaint was given against the petitioner to address the legal injury of reputation suffered by the respondent. To substantiate the same, necessary allegations have also been made in the complaint touching upon the intention and motive of the petitioner in making such statements. The Court did not inclined to quash the impugned proceedings at this stage.


The Court directed the Learned Assistant Sessions Judge/ Additional Special Court for Trail of cases related to Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu, Chennai to dispose of C.C.No.47 of 2021 within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. The Petitioner can raise all the grounds before the Trail Court and the same will be considered on its own merits and in accordance with law. The observations, if any, contained in this order will not have any bearing on the Trial Court.

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