oppn parties Defamation: One Suit for One Statement

News Snippets

  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Defamation: One Suit for One Statement

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About the Author

Sunil Garodia By our team of in-house writers.
What happens if you, by any chance, make a statement against any organization that is considered slanderous by any of its members who are located all over India? In a bid to cause you maximum harassment and expenditure, the members will file defamation cases against you in various courts in India. You will be at your wits end replying to all the notices, arranging for lawyers to represent you in those courts and keeping track of all the dates for hearing. One slip and you might end up in jail. Instead of them being victims, you become one.

Taking cognizance of this ugly fact, the Supreme Court, during hearing several petitions challenging the validity of criminal defamation, observed that when a supposedly derogatory statement is made against an organization or an organized group, there should be a procedure whereby only the group itself or a person authorized on its behalf should be allowed to file and pursue a complaint. It rued the fact that an RSS pracharak could file a complaint against Rahul Gandhi for defaming the organization. It said that there should be some authorization before such complaints can be made. It is an extremely relevant observation which if followed will reduce frivolous cases and save the time of courts all over the country.

Taking this further, there should be law that the complaint can only be filed either where the headquarters of the supposedly defamed organization is situated, or where the person who supposedly made the derogatory statement ordinarily resides, or the place where the defamatory statement was made, in order of preference. There should, as the apex court observed, be only one suit for one defamatory statement. This will not protect the person making the statement but will ensure fairness in the judicial process.