CHENNAI: Holding that Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code was invoked intentionally to file a complaint attracting a cognisable offence against a man and his father to harass them, the Madras High Court has set aside the criminal and defamation proceedings pending against them before a lower court in Tirupur.
According to counsel S Sathya Narayanan, a woman engaged in apparel business lodged a complaint with Tirupur North police alleging that Arun had posted defamatory statements against her firm in the internet due to enmity. Police registered a case for offences under various provisions of the IT Act read with Sections 500 (Punishment for defamation) & 509 (Word, gesture and act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) against the son and for an offence under Section 506 (1) (Punishment for criminal intimidation) IPC against the father.
Sathya contended that the offences under Sections 500 and 509 had not been made out against Arun. Section 509 had been included falsely only for making out a cognisable offence. As regards defamation, he said that only a private complaint would lie against him. The offence against the father - 506 (1) was a non-cognisable one, he said and hence, the entire proceedings are liable to be quashed, he said.
Justice Ramesh pointed out that the cause of action arose from the message posted in the internet by Arun.
It was clear and explicit to defame the complainant and her firm. But, none of the words or phrases in the same message amounted to insulting her modesty. As such the offence of Section 509 IPC could not be made out against Arun. The complaint contained no allegation to attract provisions of the IT Act, too, the judge said.
Action of court
Justice M S Ramesh quashed the proceedings while allowing a petition from R Arun and his father P Ramaswamy, against the proceedings pending before the Judicial Magistrate-I in Tirupur, on November 14 last