The Madras High Court has declined to restrain Dinamalar , Tamil daily, from publishing any article about Kalanithi Maran, chairman of Sun Group of companies or his family or private life of his family members and business activities till the disposal of a civil suit filed by him.
Mr. Kalanithi Maran filed a defamation suit against R. Krishnamurthy, editor-printer, and R. Lakshmipathy, publisher of Dinamalar , Tamil daily, for defamation and damages of publication of an article in edition dated July 14, 2011 under the heading ‘Escape’.
Along with the suit, Mr. Maran filed an application for injunction against the daily from publishing about him and private life of his family members without ascertaining the true facts until the disposal of the suit.
Dismissing the application, Justice Vinod K. Sharma said, “The law is well settled that a citizen has right to safeguard his privacy, as well as of his family, marriage, procreation, motherhood, child-bearing, education among other matters and no body can publish the matter without his or her consent. But this right is subject to be exception, i.e. such publication is based on public record including court record, thus, it no longer remains right of privacy.”
In the suit, Mr. Maran said the entire article was false and baseless published with a sole object to tarnish his reputation and his family members and was published without ascertaining the truth. The caricature depicted him in very bad manner as if he was an accused and escaped from the clutches of law. Mr. Maran said that the article related to an enquiry based on a complaint by one of the distributor against Hansraj Saxena, then C.E.O of Sun Pictures and he was called by police for enquiry. He informed the police that he would be available the next day and agreed to cooperate with investigation.
He further contended that by publishing article, the Dinamalar had intruded into the private life of him and his family members without any authority of law.
In its counter, Dinamalar said that “the newspaper is entitled to give its inference on the conduct of the applicant who avoided the enquiry by the police and the article cannot amount to defamation.”
Dismissing the application, Mr. Justice Sharma said: “Mr. Maran is yet to prove that whether such publication was not true and that the article was published disregard to truth. But, a general direction as prayed for cannot be issued in view of the stand taken in the counter affidavit by Dinamalar that there is no material to form a basis or apprehension that they are going to publish anything for their right.”
Dismisses Kalanithi Maran’s plea
to prevent it from publishing anything about him and family members