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YASHWANT SINGH CHANDEL versus MADAN MOHAN VERMA & ANR

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

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Yashwant Singh Chandel v. Madan Mohan Verma & Anr - SECOND APPEAL No. - 2788 of 1977 [2007] RD-AH 16063 (26 September 2007)

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HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD

Court No. 27

Second Appeal No. 2788 of 1977

Yashwant Singh Chandel

Vs.

Madan Mohan Verma & Anr.

*******

Hon. Dilip Gupta, J.

The defendant has filed this Second Appeal for setting aside the judgment and decree passed by the learned Civil Judge by which the appeal was allowed and the suit was decreed against the present appellant.

The Original Suit had been filed claiming Rs. 500/- as damages. It was stated that the plaintiff was working as a Clerk in the Post and Telegraph Department. Defendant No. 2 Yashwant Singh Chandel who is the appellant, with a view to defame the plaintiff issued a memo asking the employees to explain why they were afraid of doing work and why they were not performing their work. It was found on inquiry that the allegations made in the memo were not correct. It was alleged in the plaint that the plaintiff had the suffered physical and mental torture.

A written statement was filed by the defendant. It was stated that the memo was not defamatory and it had been issued to the Class IV employees on the basis of oral complaint made to the defendant No. 2.

Issue No. 1 that had been framed by the Trial Court was whether the defendant No. 2 defamed the plaintiff and if so, its effect.

The memo that had been issued by defendant No. 2 is as follows:-

"Jabab Dijiye Aap Log Tar Me Kam Karne se kyon Darte Ho Aur Aap Kam nahi Karna Chahte ho. Aap logon Ka Kahna hai ki Madan Mohan Verma Apshabdon Ka prayog Karte hai Kahan Tak thik Hai."

The Trial Court observed that even if it is admitted that the statement was malicious then too, the plaintiff cannot succeed because the statement was not defamatory. In arriving at this finding, the Trial Court observed that the witnesses examined by the plaintiff who were shown the copy of the memo clearly stated that none of the words or sentences in the memo lowered the reputation of the plaintiff. The Trial Court also went through the statement and came to the conclusion that the statement was not defamatory. The suit was, therefore, dismissed.

The Lower Appellate Court, however, has decreed the suit against respondent No. 2. It observed that the memo gave an impression that the appellant used improper language against Class IV employees and they were afraid to work with him. The Lower Appellate Court came to the conclusion that the memo definitely suggested that the plaintiff indulged in certain undesirable activities which lowered his reputation.

I have heard learned counsel for the appellant. No counsel has appeared for the respondents even though the list has been revised.

A statement can be said to be defamatory if it has the tendency to injure the reputation of the person to whom it refers. In other words, it has the tendency of lowering his reputation in the eyes of right thinking of the members of the society. Defamation, therefore, is a wrong done by a person to another's reputation by words, signs or visible representations. The Trial Court came to the conclusion that the words mentioned in the memo were not defamatory in nature and even the witnesses examined on behalf of the plaintiff could not point out any particular word or sentence which could lower the image of the plaintiff in the eyes of the public or the Society. The Trial Court, therefore, came to the conclusion that the words in the memo were not defamatory in nature. The Lower Appellate Court, however, without giving any cogent reason has arrived at a conclusion that the words were defamatory in nature. The statement made by the witnesses has not been considered by the Lower Appellate Court at all. I have read the statement contained in the memo more than once but am unable to find any word or sentence which may be said to be defamatory in nature. In this view of the matter, the judgment of the Lower Appellate Court cannot be sustained. It is, accordingly, set aside. The judgment of the Trial Court is restored.

The Second Appeal, therefore, succeeds and is allowed.

Date: 26.9.2007

NSC


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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