1 Dec 2023 2:08 PM GMT
The Madras High Court has recently stayed all further proceedings against Tamil Nadu BJP Head K Annamalai in the defamation case filed by one V Piyush. Justice G Jayachandran observed that prima facie, a case had been made out to quash the defamation complaint, as Piyush failed to establish his locus standi. “Since prima facie case is made out to quash the complaint which on the...
The Madras High Court has recently stayed all further proceedings against Tamil Nadu BJP Head K Annamalai in the defamation case filed by one V Piyush.
Justice G Jayachandran observed that prima facie, a case had been made out to quash the defamation complaint, as Piyush failed to establish his locus standi.
“Since prima facie case is made out to quash the complaint which on the face of it, does not reveal the locus of the Petitioner to sustain the complaint, there shall be a stay of all further proceedings,” the court said.
The case pertains to alleged hate speech made by Annamalai against a Christian Missionary NGO. The leader is stated to have said that it was the Christian NGO that first approached the Supreme Court to ban crackers during Diwali.
In October this year, the Tamil Nadu Government had accorded sanction to prosecute Annamalai. In his legal opinion, State Public Prosecutor Hasan Mohammed Jinnah stated that Annamalai had intentionally and out of context uttered remarks about the Christian Missionary NGO which forced the missionary to file a petition before the Supreme Court.
Jinnah also stated that Annamalai's speech involved open use of words and phrases generally considered to be offensive to a particular religion and objectively offensive to the society thus falling within the ambit of hate speech.
In addition, Jinnah mentioned that Annamalai had made the statements with the sole intention to cause fear or alarm and create hatred and enmity between two religions. Thus, the case was fit to accord sanction of prosecution invoking Sections 120A, 153, 153A and 505 of IPC.
Through the petition seeking to quash the FIR, Annamalai submitted that the complainant made by Piyush had twisted the interview. It was argued that the interview was given over a year ago and had been watched by over 60,000 people. Yet neither anyone from the Christian community had raised any objection nor had any disturbance to public tranquility been reported based on the speech.
The High Court questioned Piyush's locus to file the defamation complaint, observing that though there was no material in the complaint, the Trial Court took cognizance of the private complaint and issued summons to Annamalai.
"However, the complaint of the Petitioner does not disclose how he was entitled to carry the cross of the NGOs referred in the interview by the Petitioner herein. Though there is no material in the complaint, the trial Court has taken cognizance of the private complaint and passed summons to the Petitioner".
In this backdrop, the court deemed it fit to stay all further proceedings and issued notice to Piyush.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Mad) 376
Case Title: K Annamalai v V Piyush, CRL OP 27142/2023