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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Man has to face trial to disprove that use of word ‘punda-pokri’ in a TV interview is not defamatory- Mrit News

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A man engaged in real estate business will now have to face trial to disprove that calling “punda-pokri” (rogue) in a television interview does not amount to a defamatory remark, and it did not force a woman to commit suicide as she could not tolerate such remarks against her husband aired through a Kannada television channel.

The High Court of Karnataka said that the petitioner, Srinivasaraju, will have to face trial to disprove the allegation that the word used by him in a television interview was not defamatory.

Justice K. Natarajan passed the order while refusing to quash the criminal proceedings initiated against the petitioner-businessman based on a complaint lodged by Venkatesh, whose wife had committed suicide in 2012.

Venkatesh was earlier working in the real estate firm of Srinivasaraju and their relationship had soured, resulting in both of them making allegations against each other. It was also alleged that the businessman had earlier made several calls to Venkatesh’s wife over their dispute and this had allegedly pushed her into depression.

Srinivasaraju, in connection with an allegation of encroachment of government land in Bengaluru city, had told a Kannada television channel that the allegation was not true while blaming that it was due to Venkatesh, whom he described as a “punda-pokri”.

It was alleged in the complaint that Venkatesh’s wife was upset due to the allegation made against her husband, and she committed suicide a month after the interview was aired by the channel.

Noticing that there are other allegations like threatening over the phone against the petitioner-businessman, the court said he had to face trial to ascertain his claim that the word used by him is neither defamatory nor had resulted in the suicide of the woman.

(Those in distress or those having suicidal tendencies can call Arogya Sahayavani Ph.: 104 for help.)

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