The Delhi High Court has ordered that no derogatory content be published without verificationThe Karkardooma court stated that content posted in good faith for the public interest should be published after seeking feedback from the individual concerned.
on Jun 06, 2023
A municipal court in Delhi ruled that, while the press has the freedom to report on allegations of corruption and irregularities in the public interest, it should avoid publishing defamatory content without verification.
Additional District Judge (ADJ) Ravinder Bedi of Karkardooma Court made the remarks while hearing a defamation suit filed by a former Superintendent Engineer of the Delhi Development Authority against the Editor of a fortnightly newspaper, alleging that he purchased various agricultural lands using money received as illegal gratification.
The Karkardooma court stated that content posted in good faith for the public interest should be published after seeking feedback from the individual concerned.
The court granted a judgement in favour of Atma Ram, a former Superintendent Engineer in the DDA, stating that the plaintiff was entitled to Rs one lakh from the date of filing of the complaint until its realisation, plus the expense of the matter.
The plaintiff was entitled to damages, according to the court, because the Tahripur Times report 'Garg ka Tabadala rukwane mein adhikshan abhiyanta Atma Ram ka haath' was defamatory in character and had been published without due grounds.
It stated that if the report was read in its entirety, it might be deduced that the objective was to portray the plaintiff as a corrupt individual who had worked in the Quality Control Department his entire life and had used bribe money to purchase lands.
Noting that each individual has the right to reputation, the ADJ stated that if that right was violated, the aggrieved could seek legal redress, such as suing for damages or prosecuting the defaming mediapersons.
Atma Ram had filed a Rs 19.50 lakh complaint against the Editor of Tahripur Times for publishing a report accusing him of purchasing numerous agricultural lands with bribe money.
The complaint claimed that the information was inaccurate and that it was released without adequate confirmation or reason. He stated that the material harmed his reputation in society's eyes.