CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
CHENNAI
3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’,
148-150, Luz Church Road,
Mylapore,
Chennai - 600 004.
Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821
BA...
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Times now case

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Times now case

  1. 1. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com TIMES NOW CASE Anju Srinivasan
  2. 2. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com Parties to the case Mr. Parshuram Babaram Sawant …Plaintiff vs Times Global Broadcasting Co.Ltd. …Defendant 1 Mr. Arnab Goswami (Editor-in-Chief) …Defendant 2
  3. 3. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com coNcePt oF DeFaMatioN Of the many great sins committed by the media in recent years, flashing the wrong judge's photo for 15 seconds on air is a misdemeanor at best. Defamation refers to the making of false, derogatory statement(s) in private or public about a person's business practices, character, financial status, morals, or reputation. Oral defamation is a slander whereas printed or published defamation is a libel. The defamed person must prove that the defamation was communicated to someone other than him or her.
  4. 4. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code explains Defamation as “Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person.”
  5. 5. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com PUNishMeNt In India, defamation is an offence punishable under section 500 of the IPC with imprisonment for a period of 2 years and/ or fine. While in many countries defamation is just a civil matter, India still retains the criminal provisions. Unless the defendant is able to prove that his actions fall under one of the 10 exceptions provided in Section 499 of IPC, he goes behind the bars.
  6. 6. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com the case On 10 September 2008, Times Now aired Justice Sawant's photo as part of its story on the provident fund scam, confusing him with Calcutta high court judge P.K. Samantha. Justice Sawant through his secretary Mr. Kamath conveyed this mistake to channel on the same day. But there was no rectification or clarification. Justice Sawant then addressed a letter to the channel on 15th September, exhorting it to rectify its mistake. Times Now received the letter on 18th September. Again there was no rectification or apology. The channel finally ran an apology on 23rd September, exactly 13 days after committing the mistake and five days after receiving Justice Sawant’s letter.
  7. 7. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com the case The grudging and belated response infuriated the judge who threatened a lawsuit. At the same time, the editor-in chief of The times Now, Mister Arnab Goswami requested a meeting with Justice Sawant to soothe ruffled feathers, but failed to show up. He instead sent a letter, two days before the appointed date, claiming he had to undergo a surgery. But much to Sawant's fury, Goswami continued to anchor his daily show as usual, seemingly unimpaired by said medical procedure. This incited the Judge to go ahead with the Law suit.
  8. 8. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com the case The note of apology issued by Times Now read as follows: “We are extremely apologetic to Justice Sawant for the mistake and any personal damage done to his reputation because of the inadvertent error of running his picture instead of another judge.“ Times Now’s expression of regret for 5 days in the scroll news apparently did not satisfy Justice Sawant who took the matter to court.
  9. 9. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com eXteNt OF DeFaMatION Defamation in simple parlance, is a statement that hurt’s someone’s reputation. There is always a delicate balance between one person’s right to freedom of speech and another person’s right to protect their good name. While there is a case for decriminalizing defamation and codifying the civil law relating to it, it is imperative to strike a right balance between ensuring freedom of speech to media and offering sufficient, meaningful protection to the likely victims of defamation. Otherwise it could result in miscarriage of justice to the victim.
  10. 10. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com the RULING The matter was taken up before the Pune District Court. The judge recorded that: “The said flashing of photograph created false impression amongst all viewers in India and abroad that the plaintiff was involved in PF scam, which is per se highly defamatory” She then goes on to record the fact that the defendants did not take corrective or remedial measures on their own but that, in response to a letter from the plaintiff it tendered an apology and said that the error was unintentional. continued..
  11. 11. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com The defendants advanced the bold contention that they had not defamed the plaintiff, relying on the fact that the photograph was only shown for a short duration. The evidence was that the photograph was displayed because the wrong photograph was retrieved from a database to illustrate a breaking news story . Quoting from the Bhagwad Gita, the court relied on the statement that “A person’s reputation is at common law an absolute personal right and a defamation is actionable without proof of damage.”
  12. 12. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com DAMAGES The court held that the broadcast to millions of viewers of a photograph identifying the plaintiff as being involved in a scam even for a short period was plainly defamatory. The photograph had a very substantial circulation. Times Now was directed to pay 100 crores to Justice Sawant by way of damages to Justice Sawant for the tortuous acts, omissions and commissions.
  13. 13. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com AppEAl Subsequently , this matter was appealed before the Bombay High court, which directed Times Now to deposit Rs 100 crores by way of Rs 20 crores in cash and the rest as bank guarantee, as a pre condition for hearing the appeal. The matter was taken further on appeal before the Supreme Court which directed Times Now TV channel to furnish damages, finding no error in the High court’s interim order.
  14. 14. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com TRYST BETWEEN THE MEDIA AND JUDICIARY Defamation cases against media are nothing new. In fact it is an occupational hazard. The most convincing argument against the freedom of press in this country is the press itself. With great power, comes great responsibility. The growing transparency in court proceedings has led to not only tremendous public support for the victim’s plight but also to public outcry for immediate justice to be served. Thanks to the broadcast of panel discussions and public polls on news channels, the masses are aware of both sides of the coin and are prepared to side with the side that’s right.
  15. 15. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com The print media too, with its various opinion columns, tabloid journalism and interviews with outspoken activists, has made it impossible for the judiciary to ignore the views of the common man when deciding upon a case. As if the television and print media weren’t enough, social media too has recently joined the furor for justice.
  16. 16. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com CONCLUSION The most powerful players in the media market exhibit a cavalier arrogance and disregard for public interest when exercising the limited freedom they possess. Although there are aspects of the judge’s reasoning that could be criticized, her exposition of the damages principles is unimpeachable. The Judge gives no explanation as to how she arrives at the figure of Rs 100 crores as damages. There is no rational basis for the Judge’s award of compensatory damages in this case. continued..
  17. 17. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com CONCLUSION The defamation law in India needs to be brought in line with modern standards, where proportionate awards are made to reflect the damage actually suffered by the plaintiff. If this does not happen then serious international harm will be done to the reputation of the Indian legal system.
  18. 18. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com THANK YOU
  19. 19. CHENNAI 3rd Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 2498 4821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 6546 2400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Suite 132 & 133, Level 1, Midtown, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 6050 6009 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com DISCLAIMER Any copyrighted material in this presentation is used in fair use for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of the copyright owner(s).

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