Kerala HC stays defamation suit against Forests Minister

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Kochi, Nov 14 (UNI) The Kerala High Court today stayed a defamation case filed against State Forests Minister Benoy Viswom by Merchiston Estate owner Xavy Mano Mathew and summons issued against him by the Chief Judicial Magistrate court, Thiruvananthapuram.

Mr Justice R Basant also ordered notice to Mr Mathew and adjourned the matter to December nine.

The Court's interim order came on a petition filed by Mr Viswom, challenging the summons issued to him by the CJM court on the ground that the necessary sanction under the CrPC was not taken for prosecuting him.

Mr Mathew had filed the defamation case alleging that on September four, 2007, the Minister had made defamatory statments against him at a press conference conducted in the legislative complex in Thiruvananthapuram.

On September eight, the Minister repeated the statements while talking to a Malayalam television channel.

The CJM had taken cognizance of the complaint and issued summons against Mr Viswom.

Challenging the CJM court's order, the Minister contended that the remarks were made in his capacity of a public servant and not as an individual.

The necessary sanction to prosecute a public servant mandated by the CrPC was not secured in this case and hence the complaint should be quashed.

UNI XR ARC SY AS1726

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