Darda & Ors Vs. Manoharrao Ganpatrao Kapsikar & Anr  INSC 178 (26 March 1998)
Nanavati, V.N. Khare Nanavati. J.
No. 1 - Manoharrao Ganpatrao Kapsikar filed a complaint in the court of CJM, Nanded,
alleging that by publishing a news item in its newspaper "Daily Lokmath",
on 4.2.84, Mr. J.L.Darda, who was then the Chief Editor of that Daily, Mr. Rajinder
Darda, who was the Editor of the Daily, Mr. Madhukar, who was the Executive
Editor of the Daily, Mr. Deshmukh, who was connected with publication of the
Daily and M/s. Darda Printo Crafts Pvt. Ltd, who were owners and proprietors of
the Daily, have committed offences punishable under Sections 499, and 500, 501,
502 read with Section 34 IPC. The complaint was filed on 2.2.87.
CJM issued process against all the five accused. This order passed by the
learned CJM was challenged by the five accused before the learned Additional
Sessions Judge, Nanded. The learned Judge quashed that order as he was of the
opinion that by publishing that news item, none of the accused had committee
any offence. That order was challenged by the complainant by filing a petition
in the High Court under Section 482. Cr. P.C. The High Court was of the opinion
that the learned Additional Sessions Judge misinterpreted the publication. It
was also of the view that when the learned CJM. had found prima facie case
against the accused and thought it fit to issue process, it was not proper for
the learned Additional Sessions Judge, to set aside the order, by exercising
the revisional power.
is contended by the learned counsel for the appellant is that the High Court
has taken a technical view of the matter as regards the power of the Sessions
Court to exercise its revisional jurisdiction and has also committed and error
in observing that the report published in the Daily was misinterpreted by it.
have stated earlier, the news item was published on 4.2.84. The complaint in
that behalf was filed by the complainant on 2.2.87. The news item merely
disclosed what happened during ht debate which took place in the Assembly on
13.12.83. It stated that when a Question regarding misappropriation of
Government funds meant for Majalgaon and Jaikwadi was put to the Minister
concerned, the had replied that a preliminary enquiry was made by the
Government ant it disclosed that some misappropriation had taken place. When
questioned further about the names of persons involved, he had stated the names
of five person, including that of the complainant. The said proceedings came to
be published by the accused in its Daily on 4.2.84. Because the name of the
complainant was mentioned as one of the persons involved and likely to be
suspected he filed a complaint before the learned CJM alleging that as a result
of publications of the said report he had been defamed.
quite apparent that what the accused had published in its newspaper was an
accurate and true report of the proceedings of the Assembly. Involvement of the
respondent was disclosed by the preliminary enquiry made by the Government. If
the accused bona fide believing the version of the Minister to be true
published the report in good faith it cannot be said that they intended to harm
the reputation of the complainant. It was a report in respect of public conduct
of public servants who were entrusted with public funds intended to be used for
public good. Thus the facts and circumstances of the case disclose that the
news items was published for public good. All these aspects have been
overlooked by the High Court.
therefore, allow this appeal, set aside the order passed by the High Court and
restore the order passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge.