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Significant Typical M.S. Ahluwalia v. Tehelka.com & Ors

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Important Typical M.S. Ahluwalia v. Tehelka.com & Ors.
In the High Court docket of Delhi
Evaluation Petition 230/2023, IA 16702-16703/2023 and CS (OS) 622/2002
In advance of Justice Neena Bansal Krishna
Resolved on September 01, 2023

Relevancy of the case: Applicability of Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, in a defamation suit involving the handbook preparing of editorial reviews from recorded conversations

Statutes and Provisions Concerned

  • The Code of Civil Technique, 1908 (Section 114, Portion 151, Get XLVII Rule 1)
  • The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (Part 3, 58, 65B(4))
  • The Details Engineering Act, 2000 (Area 2(1)(t))

Related Details of the Case

  • Tehelka is a perfectly-regarded name for its investigative journalism and sting operations. In the Operation West Finish sting operation, two of its journalists labored as reps of a fictitious London-based defence products firm. They sought to introduce new defence products to the Indian Army and satisfied the plaintiff sooner or later.
  • The magazine posted an report detailing the journalists’ interaction with the plaintiff. The plaintiff demanded a bribe of ₹10 lakhs, a bottle of Blue Label whiskey, and recognized a token bribe of ₹50,000.
  • After the publication of this report, the CBI submitted a scenario against the plaintiff below Sections 9 and 10 of the Avoidance of Corruption Act, 1988. Subsequently, the Army Court docket experienced also court-martialled him. Nevertheless, the Military Chief acquitted him and awarded ‘Severe Displeasure’ standing.
  • In 2002, the plaintiff lodged a defamation scenario towards the magazine, its journalists, and the Chairman/CEO of Zee Tv. Zee Television had broadcasted the string operation on its information channel.
  • The defendant (critique petitioner) has submitted this assessment petition versus the court’s buy directing it to pay ₹2 crores as damages.

Distinguished Arguments by the Advocates

  • The evaluation petitioner’s counsel argued that the oral proof with out a certification introduced by the respondent would not be sufficient as per Part 65B of the Indian Proof Act, 1872.

Feeling of the Bench

  • A get together can only file a overview petition in case of factual blunders. A courtroom will not entertain review apps to proper the observations designed through the judgment.
  • Portion 65B of the Indian Proof Act, 1872, is not valid in the specified case. The 2nd petitioner had manually prepared the total transcript and editorial remarks. Therefore, they are not electronically generated.
  • The courtroom would think about it as a mere document and not electronic evidence. The petitioners have not questioned the authenticity as a result, it is admissible in the courtroom.
  • The Military Courtroom had acquitted the plaintiff and only awarded “Severe Displeasure” for his carry out. It was not for accepting cash, as alleged in the editorial reviews. The petitioners could not spotlight the slip-up that could be corrected inside of the ambit of evaluate but in its place argued about the authenticity of the transcripts.
  • Defamation legislation is not from media publications. Having said that, if not completed in good faith, it may direct to defamation because the trigger of community great and truthful comment will not justify an untrue statement.

Remaining Final decision

  • The bench dismissed the assessment petition.

Adyasha Sahoo, an undergraduate student at the Institute of Law, Nirma University Ahmedabad, organized this case summary during her internship with The Cyber Website India in January/February 2024.

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