City court reminds media responsibility: Nakkeeran Gopal punished
By Gopal Ethiraj, Chennai
Chennai, 21 July (Asiantribune.com): While the Madras High Court up held media’s role and rights in a defamation case connected with Union Minister Raja and “Junior Vikatan”, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate(CMM) Court, Chennai, reminded the responsibilities of the Press in a case of “Nakkeeran” Gopal and TTV Dinakaran.
The CMM sentenced 'Nakkeeran’ bi-weekly magazine editor Nakkeeran Gopal and its associate editor A. Kamaraj for 2 years in a defamation case filed by AIADMK MP Dinakaran.
While delivering judgment, the judge Mr R Sethumadhavan said, Gopal and Kamaraj are found guilty for the offence Under Section 500 read with 501 Indian Penal Code (IPC).
"While passing sentence, this court has to balance the right to live peacefully and with dignity of an individual and the right of the Press to publish the information to publish about the conduct of public functionaries, while the court is having high respect to the freedom of the Press and their fair criticism on the conduct of public functionaries, this Court feels that Press cannot defame anybody without any basis because my publication made about an individual cannot be retracted and any defamation which lower down the reputation of the individual cannot be restored by merely punishing the accused.", the judge observed..
The judge further said that the court wants to take a lenient view to impress upon the accused to regret for their illegal act.
He directed Gopal and Kamaraj to publish an apology statement on the wrapper of the magazine in bold letters in the following two issues continuously.
"They should mention in their statement that they regret and apologizing with Mr Dinakaran for their baseless allegation against him, " the judge ordered. And, in case of failure to publish the apology, the accused are sentenced to undergo imprisonment for a period of one year on each count.
- Asian Tribune -