Rejection Of Defamation Complaint Against Newspaper Allegedly Branding A Man As ‘Atakwadi’: SC To Hear Appeal [Read Order]

Rejection Of Defamation Complaint Against Newspaper Allegedly Branding A Man As ‘Atakwadi’: SC To Hear Appeal [Read Order]

The matter involves a wider question of law which requires consideration, the bench said.

The Supreme Court has expedited hearing of an appeal filed by a man against the rejection of his defamation complaint made against a newspaper editor and correspondent, for allegedly branding him as ‘atakwadi’.

Granting the leave to appeal, the bench of Justice J Chelameswar and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul observed: “Leave granted. Since the matter involves a wider question of law which requires consideration, the hearing of the appeal be expedited.”

Though, it is yet to know about ‘wider question of law’ which the bench will be considering, the following is the history of the case.

The crux of Syed Wasif Haider’s complaint before the magistrate court against editor and correspondent of the newspaper was that, even though he was acquitted in a murder case, certain news items were published, branding him as 'atakwadi'. According to him, these news items published against him caused social stigma against his reputation. His complaint was rejected and the Session’s court upheld the magistrate’s order.

The high court also dismissed his appeal observing that only his name was mentioned in the newspaper without mentioning any parentage and address and the publications appears to be innocuous and fair one and the same cannot be termed as one intended to harm his reputation.

The high court said in its order in November 2014: “Hereby publishing the news item the accused gave a covering report on what has happened and what was happening regarding certain offence wherein some investigation was going on, therefore, the submission raised by the learned counsel for the applicant that the publication caused stigma on reputation of applicant is not to be accepted at this stage.”

Though the Special Leave Petition was filed in the year 2015, it got repeatedly adjourned for the state to file its counter affidavit. Finally, the case was posted recently before the bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar, which has now expedited hearing.

Read the Order Here