"In a given case, even if a particular article may be a
defamatory one, yet it may not be an article which may attract
the provisions of the Contempt Act," the High Court said in
the ruling last week.
Vijay Mallya, a city-based builder, had moved the High
Court alleging that a report in a prominent English daily on
the pending litigation between him and one Baby Shetty
amounted to contempt of the court.
The newspaper report was titled "Sr citizen takes on
'bullying' builder, drags him to court over redevpt deal".
Shetty lived in an old building in suburban Andheri,
which was later purchased by Mallya. She had alleged that
Mallya wanted to evict her, as he wanted to redevelop the
property. The suit regarding her tenancy rights was underway
in the city civil court.
Mallya's lawyer alleged that use of the word "bullying"
was a defamation, and would affect the reputation of his
However, the newspaper's lawyer argued that in her suit
Shetty had averred that she was threatened by Mallya on a few
occasions, and hence use of the word "bullying" was correct.
Division bench of Justices P B Majmudar and R G Ketkar
held that report was indeed based on averments made in the
Mumbai: Reporting of the court proceedings,
even if defamatory, may not amount to criminal contempt of the
court, the Bombay High Court has ruled.
First Published: Sunday, March 21, 2010, 10:21