Exercise Caution When Voicing Opinion Through Media- Madras HC While Granting Injunction In Defamation Suit
The Madras High Court has observed while considering a defamation suit that caution should be exercised if anyone seeks to voice out opinion through print media or electronic media or in any other form.
"…if ever anybody either through the print media or through electronic media or in any other form seeks to voice out opinion, caution should be exercised and a code should also be maintained that such opinion should be put forth in the first instance to the person who would be either directly or indirectly affected by such opinion expressed, obtain their remarks on the same and then put forward both the opinion and the remarks as an information to be disseminated to the general public and leave it to the general public to form their opinion.", the Bench of Justice C.V. Karthikeyan observed.
The Court further added that "Expressing opinions without caution to facts would invite allegations that they are defamatory and only establishes that caution was not prudently exercised by the defendant and there was intent to defame the plaintiff."
The Court was dealing with a case where a suit was filed seeking damages to a sum of Rs.1,00,10,000/- against the defendant for alleged comments which he had expressed, which according to the plaintiff were defamatory in nature and not based on facts.
Advocate V.Raghavachari was the counsel for the plaintiff.
The Court noted that the plaintiff in the instant case was seriously aggrieved by the various statements made by the defendant. The Court held that such statements can be assessed only during the course of the trial.
However, the Court granted injunction as prayed for by the plaintiff considering that such defamatory statements would affect the normal course of business.
"…since such defamatory statements would prima facie affect the normal course of business and do not appear to be based on facts, and had not been put to the plaintiff, injunction naturally follows. Injunction is granted as prayed for.", the Court held.
Cause Title- O.A.No.588 of 2022