Punjab & Haryana HC observed; only family members or near relatives can file complaint of Defamation

Punjab and Haryana High Court Took Cognizance of Cases Against MLA’s and MP’s

Only the family members and near relatives of the deceased against whom imputations have been made, can file a complaint of defamation and only they can claim to be the aggrieved persons under the Section 499 IPC; observed, the Punjab and Haryana High Court 2nd December 2020.

The Court noted the contention of Mr. Vinod Ghai, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner, that Sant Kanwar, the respondent-complainant, had no locus standi to maintain the subject complaint and stayed further proceedings pursuant to the summoning order dated 13.06.2018 passed therein.

The Court observed:

“Explanation 1 to Section 499 IPC makes it amply clear that it is only the ‘family members’ or ‘near relatives’ of the deceased person, against whom imputations have been made, who can claim to be ‘persons aggrieved’. Therefore, the respondent-complainant, who is not a ‘family member’ or ‘near relative’ of late Chaudhary Matu Ram Hooda, cannot unilaterally assume unto himself the status of an ‘aggrieved person’ under Section 199 Cr.P.C, whereby he can assert that his feelings were hurt and maintain the subject complaint against the petitioner before the learned Magistrate for the alleged offence of defamation”.

Further, the court added that the complaint was ‘deficient’ and ‘tainted’ from the very beginning. Following which, the petition filed under Section 482 of CrPC is allowed and the complaint no. 83 of 2018, titled ‘Sant Kanwar V/s. Raj Kumar Saini’ and all proceedings arising therefrom, including the summoning order dated 13.06.2018 passed therein were quashed.