Kerala Lawyer Files Criminal Defamation Case Against Dr. Sebastian Paul, Media Houses [Read Complaint]

Kerala Lawyer Files Criminal Defamation Case Against Dr. Sebastian Paul, Media Houses [Read Complaint]


Advocate A. Ranjith Narayanan, a lawyer practising in Ernakulam, has filed the complaint against the former legislator and several media houses that circulated his speech.


A criminal defamation complaint has been filed against Dr. Sebastian Paul and 54 others, before the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court, Ernakulam, for his alleged remarks against the lawyer community.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate has posted the case to 6th November to record the sworn statement of the complainant.

Advocate A. Ranjith Narayanan, a lawyer practising in Ernakulam, has filed complaint against the former legislator and several media houses that circulated his speech. In his complaint, he said Dr. Sebastian Paul compared the lawyer community with street dogs and stooped down to such a low standard that is per se morally unhealthy and opposed to public decency.

Such a depiction by the accused and wide publication has by now generated abhorrence, antipathy, aversion, degradation, disgust, dislike, disgrace, dishonour, embarrassment, humiliation, indignity, revulsion and shame in the mind of the general public who read or heard such news item towards a class of lawyers, inclusive of the complainant,” he stated in his complaint.

The print and visual media have been made accused in the complainant.

“The 2nd accused owns the Malayala Manorama daily newspaper (inclusive of the online edition) as well as the Malayala Manorama News channel (inclusive of online edition), the 9th accused owns Thejas Malayalam daily newspaper (inclusive of the online edition), the 13th accused owns the Deshabhimani daily newspaper (inclusive of the online edition), the 16th accused owns the Janmabhoomi daily newspaper (inclusive of the online edition), the 20th accused owns the Kerala Kaumudy daily newspaper (inclusive of the online edition), the 23rd accused owns  the  Hindu daily  newspaper  (inclusive  of  the  online  edition),   the  26th accused owns the Deccan Chronicle daily newspaper (inclusive of the online edition), the 30th accused owns the Asianet News channel (inclusive of online edition), the 34th accused owns the Kairali TV News channel  as well as the People TV News channel (inclusive of online newspaper editions), the 38th accused owns the Reporter TV channel  (inclusive of  online newspaper edition), the 41st accused owns the Mangalam daily newspaper (inclusive of the online edition), the 44th accused owns the Veekshanam daily newspaper (inclusive of the online edition), the 49th accused owns the Deepika daily newspaper (inclusive of the online edition) and the 53rd accused owns the Madhyamam daily newspaper (inclusive of the online edition). The 8th accused is the news reader of the Malayala Manorama News channel of the 2nd accused and the 33rd accused is the news reader of the Asianet News channel 30th accused.”

 He further stated in his complaint: “The complainant is a lawyer enjoying a high social status, prestige, recognition and reputation all over Kerala. The allegations levelled against the determinate class of lawyers inclusive of the complainant by the accused, in the foresaid publication amount to character assassination and are calculated to defame them. The entire contents of the news item are per se defamatory. Such allegations have been raised with the basal view to disgrace, desecrate, degrade and dishonour determinate class of lawyers, inclusive of the complainant, thereby lowering his social status, reputation, recognition, character and public esteem. Levelling such frivolous allegations determinate class of lawyers inclusive of the complainant at the instance of the accused, in all the circumstances has affected the complainant adversely in the estimation of reasonable people generally. Publication of such matter has also caused appreciable injury to the complainant’s prestige and reputation. The foresaid defamatory statements are per se defamatory and give rise to the presumption of malice. The act of the accused in such a cavalier fashion has caused the complainant, loss of fame, reputation and recognition, consequently lowering his social status, dignity and public esteem in the eyes of the general public. Thus, the acts of the accused nos. 1 to 55 constitute offences punishable under Sections 120-B, 500, 501 and 502 of the Indian Penal Code.”

 Stating that the act of the accused has caused him loss of fame, reputation and recognition, consequently lowering his social status, dignity and public esteem in the eyes of the general public, the complainant lawyer has sought Rs.25 lakh as compensation.

Read the Complaint here.


This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.