Asia & Australia

August 11, 2017

Press has no right to comment, criticize or make allegations against Anyone: Delhi Court

Delhi High Court

The Delhi Court said that the Press does not have any right or special privilege to comment, criticize or make allegations which are sufficient to ruin a citizen's reputation. It also said that the journalists do not hold any greater freedom than others but rather reminded them that their responsibility was higher as they behold powers to disseminate information.

“Further, journalists are in no better position than any other person. The press does not enjoy any exclusive rights under our Constitution, apart from those enjoyed by a citizen as a concomitant of the freedom of speech and rights against unlawful deprivation of life and liberty guaranteed under Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution," Additional District Judge Raj Kapoor said.

The managing editor of a magazine was subdued from publishing any libellous articles against a man who has alleged that he was defamed as per the court’s order. An amount of Rs. 30,000 and Rs. 20,000, respectively were asked to be paid by the managing editor to the man as “symbolic damages”.

An article was published in the magazine in December 2007 to tarnish the man’s image by using defamatory words as alleged by him which was followed by a legal notice to the defendant. However, they again defamed him by using defamatory words instead of apologizing. The founder and the managing editor of the magazine disagreed upon the same.

The court, however, said the articles in the magazine were defamatory in nature and harmed the reputation of the man, despite the second defendant’s statement that the man was indulging in unlawful activities in the society.

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