Complaint Against Defamation Of Deceased Person Can Be Filed Only By ‘Family Members’ Or ‘Near Relatives’: Punjab & Haryana High Court

first_imgNews UpdatesComplaint Against Defamation Of Deceased Person Can Be Filed Only By ‘Family Members’ Or ‘Near Relatives’: Punjab & Haryana High Court LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK6 Dec 2020 3:57 AMShare This – xThe Punjab and Haryana High Court has observed that only the ‘family members’ or ‘near relatives’ of the deceased person, against whom imputations have been made, can claim to be ‘persons aggrieved’ to file defamation complaint under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code.Sant Kanwar, a follower of late Chaudhary Matu Ram Hooda, an Arya Samajist and freedom fighter [Grandfather…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Punjab and Haryana High Court has observed that only the ‘family members’ or ‘near relatives’ of the deceased person, against whom imputations have been made,  can claim to be ‘persons aggrieved’ to file defamation complaint under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code.Sant Kanwar, a follower of late Chaudhary Matu Ram Hooda, an Arya Samajist and freedom fighter [Grandfather of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda] had filed a defamation complaint against Former MP Raj Kumar Saini alleging that he had made several defamatory statements against late Hooda.  Saini moved High Court seeking to quash complaint and the summoning order issued by the Magistrate in this case.Referring to the provisions of Section 199 of Code of Criminal Procedure, the court noted that a defamation complaint can be made by a ‘person aggrieved’. Justice Sanjay Kumar noted that Explanation 1 to Section 499 IPC states that imputing anything to a deceased person would amount to defamation, if such imputation would have harmed the reputation of that person had he been living and such imputation is intended to be hurtful to the feelings of his family or other near relatives. The court said:”The statutory scheme therefore indicates that the ‘person aggrieved’ must have an element of personal interest, being either the person defamed himself or in the case of a deceased person, his family member or other near relative. It may also be noted that Section 320 Cr.P.C permits compounding of the offence of defamation but it is only the person who is defamed who can agree to the same”The court observed that in this case, the complainant does not claim to be a member of the family of late Chaudhary Matu Ram Hooda or his near relative. While quashing the complaint as not maintainable, the court observed: “The summoning order manifests that he contended before the learned Magistrate that he fell within the definition of a ‘person aggrieved’ as his family was closely ‘related’ to late Chaudhary Matu Ram Hooda, but this claim seems to have been based more on ideological considerations rather than any actual ‘relationship’. There was no averment in the complaint itself indicative of any familial relationship. However, Explanation 1 to Section 499 IPC makes it amply clear that it is only the ‘family members’ or ‘near relatives’ of the deceased person, against whom imputations have been made, who can claim to be ‘persons aggrieved’. Therefore, the respondent-complainant, who is not a ‘family member’ or ‘near relative’ of late Chaudhary Matu Ram Hooda, cannot unilaterally assume unto himself the status of an ‘aggrieved person’ under Section 199 Cr.P.C, whereby he can assert that his feelings were hurt and maintain the subject complaint against the petitioner before the learned Magistrate for the alleged offence of defamation. In effect, the complaint was deficient and tainted in its very inception and was, therefore, not maintainable.”Case: Raj Kumar Saini vs. Sant Kanwar [CRM-M-30950 of 2019] Coram: Justice Sanjay KumarCounsel: Sr. Adv Vinod Ghai, Adv Kanika Ahuja, Click here to Read/Download JudgmentRead JudgmentNext Storylast_img

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