Prof Imtiaz Ahmad v Durdana Zamir case deals with the interpretation of true facets of defamation as a tort.
1. Prof Imtiaz Ahmad (plaintiff) is the Khaloo (uncle) of Durdana Zamir (defendant) and a well-known Professor of sociology at JNU working towards the betterment of the society.
2. Durdana Zamir filed a complaint against her in-laws before Crime Against Women Cell, allegedly Prof. Imtiaz Ahmad of interfering in her family matter. An FIR was lodged against her in-laws, including Prof. Imtiaz Ahmad under Section 406, 498A, 34 IPC, and he got anticipatory bail.
3. This is the suit for damages by Prof. Imtiaz Ahmad against Durdanana on grounds of defamation which eroded his reputation by portraying him as a perpetrator of dowry demand and Ansari’s word has been deliberately added to his name as the Ansaris belonged to lower caste.
Whether filing a complaint by the defendant amounts to defamation?
Ratio & Decision:
Justice SN Dhingra: The words must be such, which prejudice a man’s reputation and are so offensive to lower a man’s dignity in the eyes of others.
The complaint disclosed the facts which the defendant encountered. Insult is not a cause of action for damages on the grounds of defamation.
Using of word ‘Ansari’ in the name can’t be defamatory. If the professor of sociology thinks of the caste’s name as defamatory, then God helps this society.
If it is stated that a Hungama was created by many from the in-laws of the defendant, including the plaintiff, that does not mean that the defendant made defamatory imputations against the plaintiff.
The alleged words must have resulted in the plaintiff being shunned or evaded or inculcated a feeling of hatred and condemnation. The plaintiff continues to be the professor in JNU and he continues to be a known voice at different TV Channels.
There is not even a single person who has changed his opinion about the plaintiff after the complaint.
The defendant had a right to make complaints of her grievances to the authorities. No cause of action arises till the facts in the complaint are proved wrong. SUIT DISMISSED.
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