HC Quashes Case Against Dhinakaran, But Stresses on Statesmanship

In 2018, Dhinakaran had given a statement that was allegedly defamatory to the chief minister and ministers..

Published
India
2 min read
File photo of Madras High Court.
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The Madras High Court has observed that leaders of political parties should restrict themselves from making serious allegations or criticism against the constitutional functionaries, while quashing criminal proceedings against Amma Makkal Munnettra Kazhagam (AMMK) General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran, Livelaw reported.

The court reportedly added, “Since leaders of political parties have huge followers and the same will have a serious impact on the followers also and the followers also blindly follow the path of their leaders.”

In 2018, Dhinakaran had given a statement that was allegedly defamatory to the chief minister and ministers of the Tamil Nadu government.

WHAT ARE THE COURT’S OBSERVATIONS?

While hearing the quashing petition filed by Dhinakaran, the bench of Justice N Sathish Kumar said that politicians should show their “statesmanship and quality and healthy politics rather than accusing others by using vituperated language in political platform."

The court further found that the accusation allegedly made by the AMMK general secretary was an allegation made against the ministers of the Tamil Nadu government and “was in no way connected with the discharge of their official functions.”

“Further, the court opined that if the said imputation apparently made against the public functionaries, in the discharge of his/her public function, has no reasonable nexus with the discharge of public duties, the remedy available under Section 199 (6) of Cr.P.C. before the Magistrate by making a private complaint, and remedy under Section 199 (2) and 199 (4) would not be available,” the Livelaw report mentioned.

It further noted that a public prosecutor cannot make a complaint only on the basis of a government order if the defamation in personal capacity has “no nexus with discharge of his/her official function of the State.”

“Of course, every citizen of a democratic country has freedom of speech, but at the same time such criticism should not exceed affecting the sentiments of others also,” the court added.

WHAT IS THE CASE ABOUT?

Dhinakaran had, in 2018, made a statement that was aired on channels such as Jaya TV and Polimer TV and covered in some newspapers, and was dubbed defamatory.

Dhinakaran’s counsel contended that the alleged statement, apparently referring to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, was not defamatory.

“It was further submitted that the alleged statement made by the petitioner was pertaining to the erection of a statue of the former chief minister Selvi J Jayalalitha, which was organised by the AIADMK political party,” the Livelaw article added.

(With inputs from Livelaw)

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