Overruling a single judge's order, the Madras High Court on Thursday restrained a Tamil magazine from publishing "defamatory" news items about Union Minister A Raja regarding the alleged spectrum scam and his private life.
Setting aside the July 20 order of Justice K Chandru, a Division Bench comprising Justice M Chockalingam and Justice R Subbiah said they were surprised that the judge had imposed Rs 10,000 as cost on Raja while dismissing his application.
Holding that the single judge had to merely consider Raja's plea for an interim injunction restraining bi-weekly Junior Vikatan from publishing "defamatory" news items about him and his wife's and minor daughter's photographs, it said merits of the contentions had to be decided by the trial court.
In his application, Raja had contended the news items or write-ups published in Junior Vikatan's issues from April 2008 to December 2008 pertaining to him and his wife were "highly derogatory, defamatory, misleading and baseless".
Raja had claimed the manner in which the repeated publications were made about alleged scandal in allocation of spectrum to telecom companies established the "malafide" attitude of the magazine to tarnish his and his wife's image. Besides, the spectrum issue was subjudice, pending before Delhi High Court.
Holding that persons occupying public office could not avoid public gaze, Justice Chandru had dismissed Raja's application for extension of a stay restraining the magazine from publishing articles relating to him and his family regarding the alleged spectrum scam.