Court dismisses plea against journalist
PESHAWAR – A Peshawar sessions court has ruled that only a statement can be tenned defamatory which is given intentionally to harm the reputation of an individual under the Defamation Ordinance 2002.
“A defamatory statement is a statement which is given with an intention to deceive the third person and the publication of that statement damages the reputation Of the person against whom the statement is given. And it also makes people laugh at him or creates disliking amongst the public for him,” the judge said on August 11.
The,court gave thew observations in a detailed.judgment in the first case filed against an English Daily newspaper in Peshawar under the Defamation Ordinance 2002.
The court dismissed the case with the observation that the story filed in the newspaper by its correspondent did not amount to defamation because the plain tiff could not prove that the contents of the story were incorrect and that it was filed with the intention to defame him.
Dr Muhammad Tahir, incharge of the plastic surgery unit of the Hayatabad Medical Complex, had moved the court against Ashfaq Yousufzai, correspondent of the newspaper. The plain tiff had claimed that a story, ‘Plastic surgery unit working without specialists’, published on September 1, 2003, was defamatory and amounted to harming his reputation among his colleagues in particular and the public in general.
He had filed a complaint demanding that he be given Rs 5 million as special damages and Rs 50,000 as compensatory damages. The judge said: “The statement published in the newspaper is not,false and does not seem to have been published with the intention to deceive some one because the institution based practice (IBP) is an issue against which there is resentment in the doctors community.”
The court said that the statement was not defamatory because the plain tiff had failed to produce any evidence with respect to malafide or malice of the defendant.
Source: Daily Times