Case against S.M. Balaji for alleged defamation, criminal intimidation

The Madras High Court has granted anticipatory bail to a dentist who apprehended arrest in a case for alleged offences including defamation and criminal intimidation.

The case had been registered by the cyber crime cell of the Chennai central crime branch based on the complaint of another dentist. The complainant’s allegation was that in order to tarnish his image and that of other dentists, the petitioner, S.M. Balaji, had instigated his employee to send emails to various doctors making defamatory allegations. Some of the mails contained intimidating words.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that Dr. Balaji had been travelling abroad. The petitioner never instigated or instructed his employee to send emails.

Justice S. Nagamuthu said all the offences said to have been committed were bailable, except the offence under section 506 (i) of IPC (punishment for criminal intimidation.)

The allegation was that some emails contained intimidating words.

It was disputed whether these emails were sent on the instruction or instigation of the petitioner. The petitioner was a reputed doctor and there was no likelihood of his absconding. The investigation had progressed substantially. The final report would be filed within a month.

Justice Nagamuthu ordered that Dr. Balaji be released on bail in the event of his arrest or on his appearance before the metropolitan magistrate, Egmore, on his executing a bond for Rs.10,000 with two sureties each for a like sum.

From the day after his return to India, the petitioner should appear before the police daily for four weeks. Thereafter, he should appear for interrogation as and when the police required.

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