The Orissa High Court has observed that constitutional freedom of speech and expression is subjected to reasonable restraints, but it cannot be suppressed on the ground of convenience.
Justice SK Sahoo, while quashing a defamation case against a newspaper, remarked: ““Any attempt to destroy the fourth pillar of Indian democracy by any atheistic demon Hiranyakashipu and to control the fair and honest media reporting for ulterior motive can have a devastating effect and would give rise to Lord Narasimha Avatar. Therefore, practice of tolerance is a welcome sign in constitutional scheme.”
The court observed that what is published in newspaper Dharitri was only the summary of the contents of memorandum and it is not their individual opinion and it was in good faith without any intention to harm the reputation of the complainant.
The complainant had alleged that the accused and their supporters called a meeting and published defamatory news items in newspapers Dharitri, Pragativadi and Matrubhasa without any basis, to cause harm to the reputation of the complainant with malafide intention.
Read the Judgment here.