K M MATHEW Vs. K A ABRAHAM
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: KERALA)
K.M.MATHEW,VIVEK GOENKA,HARI NARAIN NIGAM
STATE OF BIHAR,K.A.ABRAHAM,PADAM SAMBHAV JAIN
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K. G. Balakrishnan, J. -
(2.)Common questions of law arise in these appeals; hence they are being disposed of by this common judgment. Appellants are either Managing Editor, Chief Editor or Resident Editor of their respective newspaper publications. Separate criminal complaints were filed against the appellants alleging that in their newspaper publications, libellous matter was published and that these appellants had knowledge and they were responsible for such publication and thus they committed the offence of defamation besides other allied offences. In all these cases, the Magistrate had taken cognizance of the offences and issued summons to these appellants. The appellants challenged their prosecution and contended that in view of Section 7 of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act"), they are not liable to be prosecuted and that the Editor of the newspaper whose name is printed on it as the "Editor" of that Publication alone is liable to be prosecuted for any of the offence for such libellous publication.
(3.)The appellant in Criminal Appeal No. 701 of 1998 is the Chief Editor of "Malayalam Manorma", a daily having wide circulation in Kerala and other places. According to the appellant in this case, he is the Chief Editor of the "Malayalam Manorma" and that there is also an Editor for this publication who alone can be charged for the offence under Section 500 of Indian Penal Code in view of the statutory presumption under Section 7 of the Act.
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