w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



Selvi. J. Jayalalithaa v/s Penguin Books India


Company & Directors' Information:- THE INDIA COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999TN1919PTC000911

Company & Directors' Information:- M. B. BOOKS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U22110BR2003PTC010150

Company & Directors' Information:- INDIA CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65990MH1941PTC003461

Company & Directors' Information:- H & C BOOKS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U22210KL2014PTC036091

Company & Directors' Information:- BOOKS (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Liquidated] CIN = U52396TN1949PTC000218

Company & Directors' Information:- S AND T BOOKS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U22110DL2005PTC132890

Company & Directors' Information:- V P G BOOKS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U22110DL2005PTC137359

Company & Directors' Information:- S R BOOKS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL2004PTC126466

Company & Directors' Information:- S. A. BOOKS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U22300MH2019PTC333992

Company & Directors' Information:- PENGUIN PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U21012WB1981PTC034086

Company & Directors' Information:- P H BOOKS PRIVATE LIMITED [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U22222DL2008PTC177734

    O.A. NO. 417 OF 2011 & APPLICATION NO. 2570 OF 2011 IN C.S. NO. 326 OF 2011

    Decided On, 27 August 2012

    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE PERIYA KARUPPIAH

    For the Petitioner: P.H.ManojPandian, Advocate. For the Respondent: Dalia Sen Oberoi, Advocate.



Judgment Text

V. PERIYA KARUPPIAH, J.

This application has been filed by the applicants / defendants 1 and 3 praying to vacate the order of stay made in O.A.No.417 of 2011 in C.S.No.326 of 2011 dated 26.04.2011 passed by the Hon’ble Court.

2. Heard Mr.L.Nageswara Rao, learned senior counsel, Mr.Guru Krishna Kumar, learned counsel and Mr.A.Navaneetha Krishnan, learned Advocate General, appearing on behalf of Mr.P.H.Manoj Pandian, Mr.Abdul Saleem and Mr.R.Bala Ramesh, learned counsel appearing for the applicant in O.A.No.417 of 2011 (first respondent in A.No.2570 of 2011 and plaintiff in C.S.No.326 of 2011) and Ms.Dalia Sen Oberoi, learned counsel appearing on behalf of Mr.Rohan Rohtagi and Mr.R.Pradeep, learned counsel appearing for respondents 1 and 3 in O.A.No.417 of 2011 (applicants in A.No.2570 of 2011 and defendants 1 and 3 in C.S.No.326 of 2011). No appearance for the respondents 2, 4 and 5 / Defendants 2, 4 and 5.

3. Mr.L.Nageswara Rao, learned Senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would submit in his argument that the suit is filed for permanent injunction restraining the defendants from publishing the book, namely "Jayalalithaa – A Portrait" and an Injunction Petition in O.A.No.417 of 2011 was filed and ex-parte order of injunction was granted on 26.04.2011, which was periodically extended and finally extended until further orders. He would further submit that the suit was filed on the basis of an article appeared in 'Outlook' magazine and on apprehending that there is reference to her personal life, the plaintiff filed the suit and thereafter only, the book was made available to the plaintiff and the book is about her personal life as well as public life. He would also submit that the matters pertaining to the personal life of the plaintiff have also been written in the book and it is admitted in paragraph 6 of the written statement. Moreover, the third defendant herself says that there is reference to the personal life of the plaintiff, which is mixed rather with her public life and hence, the plaintiff has proved "prima facie" case for the grant of injunction.

4. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would further submit that the book contains private life of the plaintiff and whatever has been mentioned in the book should be damaging her reputation or should be something related curious insofar as the character of the plaintiff. He would cite a judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court reported in AIR 1995 SC 264 : (1994) 6 SCC 632 (Rajagopal ..vs.. State of Tamil Nadu) (popularly known as Autoshankar's Case) and would submit that in the aforesaid judgment, it is stated that anything concerning with privacy of a person can be published only with the consent of that person. Only exception of the rule is that any public record which reveals any information that information need not be verified.5. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would also submit that what are the public records have also been decided in a judgment of the Delhi High Court reported in 57 (1995) DLT 154 : 1995 (32) DRJ 142 (Phoolon Devi ..vs.. Shekhar Kapoor and others). In the aforesaid judgment, it has been stated that books and interviews are not considered to be public records. He would also submit that gathering information from third persons or from a weekly/magazine is not also a public record. He would further submit that if the contents of the book are not on the basis of the public record, then there is a clear violation of privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

6. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would further submit that in order to understand what the law is on the subject, regarding 'protection of right to privacy' and 'protection from intrusion into one's private life', the right of third defendant to speech has also to be understood. He would further submit that right to freedom of speech under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India is not an absolute right and if the press has such right, that right flows from Art.19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India, which is subject to law that already exists or to be made as held in Rajagopal's case (AIR 1995 SC 264 : (1994) 6 SCC 632 (Rajagopal ..vs.. State of Tamil Nadu)).

7. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would also submit that the press should have the freedom to inform the public about the issues, open the issues for discussion and make comments on either choice, but such right of press can be stopped when a person does not like what ever written against him. He would further submit that right of privacy cannot be infringed merely because the public figures or politicians are not reacting for everything or for small things published against them. In the case of "Rajagopal ..vs.. State of Tamil Nadu" reported in AIR 1995 SC 264 : (1994) 6 SCC 632, the remedies for a person whose right of privacy being invaded would include the grant of interim injunction from publishing the book, since the damage to the reputation is immeasurable and the loss of reputation cannot be compensated in any terms.

8. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would also submit that the questions to be decided in this application are:-

* Whether injunction can be granted in entirety;

* Whether the book in question invades the personal life of the plaintiff; and

* Whether the plaintiff is entitled to get compensation only.

9. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would also submit that in the plaint, it has been stated that the book itself was not seen by the plaintiff and in the 'Outlook' magazine, whether correct facts were depicted or the facts in the book were distorted have to be seen. He would further submit in his argument that there cannot be any public discussion about the private life of the plaintiff and such criticism in respect of private life of a public official would be amounting to invasion of privacy. He would also submit that if the book authored by the third defendant is permitted to be published, the damage to the reputation would be immeasurable and therefore, there is an imperative need to grant an order of injunction. It has also been discussed in the judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court reported in "Rajagopal ..vs.. State of Tamil Nadu" reported in AIR 1995 SC 264 : (1994) 6 SCC 632 that a public man is also standing in par with the common man so far as the right to private life is concerned. He would also submit that that would show the right of privacy of an individual should not be invaded.10. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would also submit that admittedly, the third defendant neither obtained any permission nor consent from the plaintiff before commencing her work even in the year 2008 nor she had verified with the correctness of those incidents written in her book with the plaintiff prior to the proposed publication of the said book during the month of May 2011 and the said fact was known to the plaintiff only through the 'Outlook' magazine belonging to the defendants 4 and 5 and the excerpts published in the said magazine on 21.03.2011 would go to show a prima facie invasion of the private life of the plaintiff with the caption "Jayalalitha: The untold story" and that would also go to show the intention of the third defendant to invade the privacy of the plaintiff under the guise of freedom of expression.

11. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would refer to a judgment of the Highest Court of Europe, namely, European Court of Human Rights reported in (2005) 40 E.H.R.R.1 (Von Hannover ..vs.. Germany), a case filed by the Princess Caroline of Monaco, for explaining the violation of privacy or private life even by taking photographs and publishing without the consent and control of the person concerned. He would also submit that the excerpts published in the 'Outlook' magazine would disclose that the major contents in the book would be more defamatory apart from untruthful facts and which were not cared by the author as to its authenticity. Referring to the said case of Princess Caroline of Monocco, the learned counsel for the plaintiff would insist that the contents in the proposed book authored by the third defendant is certainly a gross violation of the privacy of the plaintiff.12. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would also submit in his argument by referring to a judgment of The House of Lords, U.K. reported in (2004) 2 A.C 457 (Campbell ..vs.. MGN Ltd.,), (commonly called as Campbell's case) that in the aforesaid judgment, it is held that publishing an information in order to mislead the public statements given by a person through some other information would be amounting to breach of duty or confidence and also violation of Section 12(4) of the Human Rights Act, 1998. He would also rely upon the finding of the said Court that such publication cannot be justified as made in public interest, which would be nothing but the invasion of private life and breach of confidence.

13. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would also refer to a case of this Court reported in AIR 2006 Madras 312 (R.Rajagopal @ R.R.Gopal @ Nakkheeran Gopal and another ..vs.. J.Jalalalitha and another) for the principle that the right to privacy is a fundamental right and it cannot be violated by any person through publications. He would also rely upon the decision reached by the Hon'ble Bench of this Court in the said judgment that a qualified injunction was granted from publishing articles against the defendants who has to get verification of the facts from the plaintiffs in that suit. Relying upon the said judgment, he would further submit that the ‘right of freedom of expression’ was considered subject to the ‘right of privacy’ of a public official with certain limitations. He would also submit that in this case, the right of privacy is taking much significance since, the third defendant proposed the publication of book containing private life of the plaintiff, whereas in the judgment of the Hon'ble First Bench of this Court, the defendants were proposing to write articles on the plaintiffs in their journal.14. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would further submit in his argument that the book styled as "Jayalalithaa - A Portrait" is nothing but a biography of the plaintiff, to which the third defendant ought to have obtained permission or consent from the plaintiff prior to the commencement of such writings. He would also submit that the third defendant as an author of the book gave an interview to "The Hindu Metro Plus" dated: 08.04.2011, in which, she had described the book as a biography in one place and not a biography in another place, but it was candidly admitted as an unauthorised biography. He would further submit that the third defendant ought to have approached the plaintiff towards verification of the facts contained in the book or to write such biography of the plaintiff. He would further submit that it is not an autobiography of the author, who had met the plaintiff, and the incidents and her experience with the plaintiff was written in the said book.15. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would also distinguish the principles laid down by the Hon'ble Delhi High Court in a case reported in AIR 2002 Delhi 58 (Khushwant Singh and another ..vs.. Maneka Gandhi) in respect of an autobiography written by its author. While distinguishing the said judgment as not applicable to the present case, he would submit that the said suit was filed by the plaintiff for damages for defamation and she had come to Court after a long delay. As far as this case is concerned, the plaintiff had immediately approached the Court on seeing the publication of excerpts of the book in 'Outlook' magazine on 21.03.2011 and there is no delay in this case.16. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would also rely upon the judgment of the Englandand Wales High Court (Chancery Division), U.K. reported in (1849) EWHC Ch J20 (Prince Albert ..vs.. Strange) for the principle that whenever there is an invasion of privacy complained, the postponing of injunction would be equal to denying it altogether and the interposition of the Court should be effectual and immediate. He would also quote the principle laid down in the said judgment and would submit that the plaintiff had come to the Court immediately for the relief of injunction and this Court has also granted ad-interim injunction, which was subsequently extended till further orders. Therefore, he would submit that the principles laid down in Khushwant Singh's case is not applicable both factually as well as legally.

17. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would also cite a judgment of this Court reported in AIR 2010 Madras 77 (A. Raja and another ..vs.. P.Srinivasan Publisher and Printer of Junior Vikatan Vasan Publications Private Limited and others) for the principle that the publication of caricature or fudged photographs of the plaintiffs or the family members in that case without seeking any clarification from the plaintiffs would be amounting to causing damages to the reputation of those plaintiffs. The said principle was laid down by this Court after following the judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court reported in AIR 1995 SC 264 : (1994) 6 SCC 632 (Rajagopal ..vs.. State of Tamil Nadu). He would also submit that the judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court as rightly relied upon by this Court in the aforesaid judgment would be the guiding star, which dealt with the right of freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India and the right of privacy of private life as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. He would also submit that the principles laid down in the said judgment (Rajagopal's case) for the principle that a public official enjoys the protection as any other citizen in respect of his or her private life regarding family, marriage, procreation, motherhood, child bearing and education among other matters. He would also rely upon the principle laid down regarding the publication of such things concerning the above matters without his or her consent whether truthful or otherwise or laudatory or critical. The learned counsel would also submit that acts and conducts of the public officials relevant to discharge of their official duties cannot be brought under the private life and if any untrue publication has been effected, the damages would be available to the public official.

18. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would further submit in his argument that the claim of the third defendant that she had collected all the particulars from the public domain, like 'Kumudham' magazine from the memoirs written by the plaintiff, the articles on interviews from Saavy, from the books written by Mr.J.Ramki and Mr.P.C.Ganesan and the data collected from Mr.Solai, Ms.Kumari Sachchu, Film News Mr.Anandhan and her classmates during her school days, could not be correct information even otherwise it ought to have been verified with the plaintiff in case of writing a book or biography on the plaintiff. He would further submit that the said collections cannot be considered as collected from public records since, those sources would not be considered as public records in view of the judgment rendered in Phoolan Devi's case reported in 57 (1995) DLT 154 : 1995 (32) DRJ 142 (Phoolon Devi ..vs.. Shekhar Kapoor and others). He would also rely upon the principle laid down in paragraph No.37 of the judgment and would submit that on the aforesaid principle, the reliance put forth by the third defendant over the said sources cannot be considered as public records to publish the impugned book without any verification.19. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would also submit that the authenticity of collection of particulars or incidents from those persons have not been produced by the defendants so as to show a prima facie case that the third defendant had collected those particulars from that personalities and also the owners of those maganizes, namely, 'Kumudham' and Saavy. The absence of filing of the affidavits obtained from those persons said to have given information regarding the incidents taken place in the life of the plaintiff would also go to show that the third defendant was not bonafide in writing correct facts. He would further submit that even if it is considered that those informants have given particulars to the third defendant about the plaintiff's life, it should have been verified with the plaintiff as to its correctness.20. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would also insist in his argument that the plaintiff was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on two terms from 1991 - 1996 and 2001 – 2006 and for the third time, even after filing of the suit she won the general elections and became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and is ruling the State and she is also the General Secretary of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, a biggest party in the State having more than 1.5 crores of followers. He would further submit that whether the party in which the plaintiff is the General Secretary in power or not, the said party is the biggest party in the State of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry and the plaintiff is having much popularity with the people of Tamil Nadu and is controlling the party as well as the Government in an efficient manner. He would also submit that during the tenure of the plaintiff, several schemes have been introduced and she won the support and hearts of the people and she has got high reputation not only in our country, but also world wide. He would further submit that if the publication of the book styled as "Jayalalithaa – A Portrait" has not been restrained by an order of temporary injunction and if it is permitted to be published, it would certainly damage the total reputation of the plaintiff, with its erroneous contents of the said book; and such damages would not only immeasurable or incalculable, but also they are irreparable.21. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would also submit that the defendants cannot rely upon the decisions reached in Khushwant Singh's case or any other case, in which the right of privacy or private life can be invaded and the remedy could be made available by the way of grant of damages would be a far fetched remedy. He would also submit that the prevention is better than curing after committing injury.

22. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiffwould rely upon a judgment of Bombay High Court reported in AIR 2001 Bombay 176 (Shilpa S.Shetty ..vs.. Magna Publications Co., Ltd., and Others) for the principle that whenever defamatory articles are likely to be published they cannot be permitted to go ahead to print and to cause damages. He would also cite a judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court in Appeal (Civil) No.344 of 2002 (Magna Publications Co., Ltd., and Others ..vs.. Shilpa S.Shetty) preferred against the judgment of the Bombay High Court reported in AIR 2001 Bombay 176 (Shilpa S.Shetty ..vs.. Magna Publications Co., Ltd., and Others) in which the decision reached by the Bombay High Court was upheld and the appeal was dismissed confirming the judgment of the Bombay High Court and the interim order passed was ordered to be operative.

23. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff would also submit that the impugned book was not referred to the plaintiff for verification as to its truthfulness or correctness of its contents, even prior to the filing of the suit but it was handed over only after the filing of the suit and during the pendency of these applications. He would also point out various portions from the said book, in which derogatory and false incidents have been mentioned as if those informants have explained all those particulars. He would further submit that those contents of the said book are not correct and they are not true. He would further submit that when such contents are not correct and there is no truthfulness in them, it would certainly lead the public as well as the followers of the plaintiff and various other people in the walks of the society, to lower the image and reputation of the plaintiff. He would further submit that even the excerpts published by the defendants 4 and 5 are defamatory in nature and the plaintiff had already reserved her right to take appropriate action against them. In the said circumstances, if the biography of the plaintiff written by the third defendant in the name of a book "Jayalalithaa – A Portrait" is permitted to be published, it would certainly cause serious and irreparable damages to the plaintiff and it would reflect over the political party, she belongs to. If the defendants are not permitted to publish the book, they would not sustain any loss, since they have committed series of serious mistakes even before commencing the work of making a book by adopting proper methods like seeking permission to write the biography of the plaintiff and to get instructions from the plaintiff often, or then and there as to the writings or during the progress of those writings. But all these things have not been happened or followed and therefore, the defendants are guilty of omissions and laches and there would not be any loss likely to happen to the third defendant.24. The learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiffwould further submit that the general election of Tamil Nadu State Legislative Assembly was scheduled to take place during the month of May 2011 and the launching of publication of the book was also scheduled to take place during the first week of May 2011, which was planned by the defendants as per the excerpts published in 'Outlook' magazine during March 2011 and it would expose that the defendants have planned to lower the image of the plaintiff at the time of election and thereby, to get commercial advantage and therefore, the ad-interim injunction granted by this Court had promptly prevented the damage likely to cause to the plaintiff and thereby, no loss is occurred for the third defendant. He would, therefore, submit that the balance of convenience is also in favour of the plaintiff apart from, a prima facie case has been established by the plaintiff. He would further submit that the ad-interim injunction granted by this Court was considered after finding a prima facie case in favour of the plaintiff and the object of granting temporary injunction or permanent injunction would be defeated if no ad-interim injunction was granted at that time by this Court and the said similar circumstances are still prevailing and therefore, the ad-interim injunction granted by this Court may be made absolute and thereby, temporary injunction may be granted in favour of the plaintiff pending disposal of the suit.25. He would also submit that no qualified grant of injunction is necessary since, the contents of the proposed book authored by the third defendant containing untruthful and incorrect facts regarding the private life of the plaintiff and therefore, if any injunction is granted, it would not a gag order of injunction as contended by the defendants. He would, therefore, request the Court to pass an order of temporary injunction as sought for by the plaintiff in the application. He would also request the Court to dismiss the application filed by the defendants 1 and 3 seeking to vacate the ad-interim injunction passed by this Court.

26. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would submit in her argument that the third defendant is the admirer of the plaintiff and the defendants 1 to 3 have planned to publish the book styled as "Jayalalithaa - A Portrait" in order to bring it to the notice of the public as to how a woman is tackling the situations and has come up overcoming the turmoil and it was only a laudatory. She would further submit that the third defendant was once a critic of the plaintiff and she turned to be the admirer of the plaintiff on seeing all these qualities of the plaintiff.27. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would also submit that the proposed book was misunderstood as a biography, but it is a book in a different style. She would also submit that the third defendant could not meet the plaintiff when she was working as an editor of 'Times of India' for the preparation of this work. The third defendant had to meet the close associates of the plaintiff, namely, Mr.Solai, Film News Mr.Anandan, Kumari Sachchu, and had gathered particulars apart from the close associates of the plaintiff in school days. She would further submit that the third defendant had verified each and every line spoken about the plaintiff in her book and it was neither stolen nor produced without authentication from the said close associates. She would further submit that the third defendant – author did not intentionally write all these things or to get a cheap popularity or for any commercial gain.28. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would also submit that the third defendant wanted to hand over the manuscript to the plaintiff for verification, but there was no response from the plaintiff and therefore, she had to write letters in order to publish the book amicably with the consent of the plaintiff. She would also submit that the particulars gathered for the book were from public domain and public records. She would also submit that the memoirs written by the plaintiff herself in 'Kumudham' weekly and interviews given to 'Saavy', the Tamil and English magazines were referred to for ascertaining the correctness of the writings of the author. She would also submit that two more books, namely, 'J Jayalalitha : Ammu muthal Amma Varai' written by Mr.J.Ramki and 'Daughter of the South : Biography of Jayalalitha' written by Mr.P.C.Ganaesn were also referred to. She would also submit that the author of the book 'Daughter of South : Biography of Jayalalitha', Mr.P.C.Ganaesn was also dead and therefore, there could not be any variancein the contents of the said book, which was verified for the correctness of the contents in the proposed book. She would further submit that such a reasonable verification would be sufficient, when especially the plaintiff is a public official. Even according to the principles of natural justice, reasonable verification would be sufficient for any public official in order to publish the private life of such person. She would rely upon a judgment of this Court reported in AIR 2006 Madras 312 (R.Rajagopal @ R.R.Gopal @ Nakkheeran Gopal and another ..vs.. J.Jalalalitha and another) in support of her argument.29. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would further emphasize in her argument that the defendants 1 to 3 have sent communications through E-mail, Courier to the plaintiff for verification of facts and the plaintiff did not give any reply. She would also submit that the defendants 1 and 3 are responsible publisher and author and they would not write materials contrary to the truth or publish such material to the detriment of others. She would also rely upon the judgment of Delhi High Court reported in AIR 2002 Delhi 58 (Khushwant Singh and another ..vs.. Maneka Gandhi) and rely upon the principles laid down therein. She would further submit that it has been made clear in the judgment that whenever the remedy of damages are available for making any defamatory publication, which turns to be untrue, no injunction can be granted. She would also submit that the remedy available to the plaintiff would be the damages, whether he/she has asked for it or not.30. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would further submit that the people, who were around her and knew about her, were interviewed by the author and they gave particulars or information about the plaintiff and there is no necessity of furnishing untruth materials against the plaintiff for the purpose of defaming her. She would further submit that the author / third defendant is an elderly woman and she is with the credit of 50 years of her experience in writing and there is no intention for her to defame the plaintiff. She would further submit that the third defendant had spent more than two years for the preparation of the said book and she had incurred huge expenditure for such creation and the time devoted by her should not be wasted by the grant of injunction by this Court.31. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would further submit that the blanket ad-interim injunction granted against the publication of the impugned book is nothing but a gag order and it is much prejudicial to the right of the defendants guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India. She would further submit in his argument that the book has been authored after reasonable verification and the plaintiff being a public official, the contents regarding her private life was already known to public through her memoirs written in 'Kumudham' weekly, interview given to 'Saavy', the Tamil and the English magazines and therefore, there is nothing to damage further, the image and reputation of the plaintiff. She would also rely upon the principles laid down by the Hon'ble Apex Court reported in 1994 (6) SCC 632 - Rajagopal's case and was insisting that when the relief of damages are available, no need for the grant of any injunction. She would further submit that the reasonable verification would be sufficient when it is of public interest and in any case, if it is found to be untrue, the reasonable damages could be awarded and for that the public interest should not be suffered for the purpose of preventing the publication of private life of a public official.

32. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would also refer to a judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court reported in AIR 2007 (SC) 493 (Ajay Goswami ..vs.. Union of India and others) for the principle that any news item should not be viewed or read in violation and the nature of publication should be judged after reading the entire contents of the impugned contents. She would further submit that the third defendant had written the book only with particulars given by the close associates of the plaintiff and what else is required regarding the verification. She would further submit that their interviews were recorded in Recording Tapes and the book containing the sufferings and difficulties meted out by the plaintiff had been explained promptly and the book would be depicting a perspective woman and it would not be derogatory to the plaintiff. She would also submit that nothing was derogatory in the proposed book and therefore, the third defendant need not verify with anybody.33. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would also submit that the seven points as pleaded by the plaintiff in the plaint would not be derogatory in nature, since they were collected from the books of J.Ramki and the interview in 'Economic Times' and CNN-IBN, 'Kumudham', 'Saavy' magazines and the book written by Mr.P.C.Ganesan and the interviews of the Film News Mr.Anandan, and Mr.R.M.Veerappan's book, and letter in Murosoli newspaper. She would also submit that those particulars were collected from public domain, in other words, public records and therefore, they need not be verified.34. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would read the passages from the manuscript in pages 4, 11, 22, 24, 53, 54 and 56 and submit that all those contents in the manuscript were written only towards the qualities in managing turmoil and chaos in the life of the plaintiff and it would be laudatory nature. Those writings are not private, but her past life in her political persona. All these information regarding the public official, namely, the plaintiff should be known to the public on public interest and therefore, the third defendant had written so. She would also submit that no portions in the manuscript is demitting her as a woman. She would also submit that the third defendant as an impartial journalist did not cross the limit of journalism, no scandulous allegations made, but she had written a good and bad of a public figure, who should be always in a glass house as the life of a public person be a transparent one. She would also submit that the author did not violate the principles in writing the manuscript and it was not written to harass the plaintiff and actually the interviews taken were noted and was written in the book. She would further submit that no new facts have been added despite the third defendant could have gone beyond that so as to create interest for the readers.35. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would also submit that any woman to reach a high peak will be suspected and that is why the author wants to bring the difficulties the plaintiff who had come over so as to reach such level. The particulars regarding winning gold medal for her merits in the school and medical college interview, she was about to attend, were also mentioned with the information given by her classmates Mrs.Srimathi and Mrs.Santhini. She would also stress that the entire book has to be read out for coming to any conclusion regarding the contents made therein whether it is derogatory or laudatory or critical. She would also submit that there was no prima facie case made out for the grant of injunction, since the alternative remedy of damages is always available to the plaintiff. She would further submit that there is no legal error in writing the portrait of a public figure.36. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would further submit that even though the plaint was filed on 21.04.2011 several attempts were made for reasonable verification of the contents of the manuscript after the filing of the suit, but it was neither replied nor settled. She would once again submit in her argument that since there was no defamatory contents in the book or manuscript, there is no prima facie case for the plaintiff to get an order of injunction. She would also submit that the book styled as "Jayalalithaa – A Portrait" has been completed and is ready for release, but for the injunction granted by this Court. If the articles contained in the book are objectionable and is prejudicial to the public interest, the book could be totally restrained. She would also submit that when the suit was filed by the plaintiff, the contents of the book was not available for perusal of the Court, but without reading the book, an order of ad-interim injunction has been granted and the release was totally restrained and if notice alone has been ordered, the defendants would have appropriately responded to the claim of the plaintiff and this Court would not have granted any ad-interim injunction. She would, therefore, submit that the ad-interim injunction granted by this Court has to, necessarily, be vacated.37. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would also submit that the plaintiff did not sue 'The Hindu' to publish the interview of the third defendant even though it has mentioned as one of the causes of action 'de hors' the defendants 4 and 5 were impleaded as parties for merely publishing about the release of the book. The seven points listed by the plaintiff in the plaint was taken as gaspel truth by the Court and without reading the entire book as to whether those points were correctly stated or not in the plaint and an order of ad-interim injunction was granted, which is not correct.

38. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would further submit that the third defendant had devoted to write the book from the year 2008 and it was over by the mid year of 2010 and subsequently, one year was taken for finalising the book and it was planned to release at the time of election, which was coincidental and accidental, but it was not intentional. She would also submit that if really, the plaintiff's case is true that the contents in the manuscript are derogatory and were not verified, the remedy is only after publication as decided in Rajagopal's case and there cannot be any pre-censorship. She would also place reliance on the Khushwant Singh's case, which is said to have been in accordance with the principles laid down in Rajagopal's case.39. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would also insist in her argument that the entire book alone has to be perused for ascertaining the correctness of the book so as to decide the crux of the case; and the blanket injunction order cannot be granted without reading the book and if the consent has to be obtained to write anything about a person, no one can write anything about any person and it would be detrimental to the right guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India.40. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would further submit that the plaintiff's reply that Ramki and CNN-IBN were not given with consent by the plaintiff could not be sustained, because they are constituents of the public domain. The plaintiff having given the interview to 'Saavy' in March 1985 and had written the memoirs in 'Kumudham' magazine, she cannot go back to deny the contents of the manuscript as distorted. She would also submit that the denial of the books written by Mr.P.C.Ganesan and Mr.Ramki would not help the plaintiff in any way as they were already in public domain. She would also submit that the further case of the plaintiff that the plaintiff had distanced from Film News Mr.Anandan long back would not in any way make the contents given by the said Film News Mr.Anandan false when he was closely associated with the plaintiff once. She would further submit that how all these particulars could be denied by the plaintiff without reading the entire book and tell the Court that she is a correct personality. She would also submit that the publication made in 'Saavy' during 1985 was not objected by the plaintiff and the magazine being a popular one would not publish any false news. She would also submit that Mr.RM.Veerappan may be a personal enemy of the plaintiff, but it would not go to show that he would not speak truth. She would further submit that the reliance placed by the author over the letters from Murosoli newspaper and Mr.RM.Veerappan's book cannot be considered simply as incorrect merely because, they are inimical politically and privately.

41. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would also submit that the personal life of a public personality is one way or other connected with the public persona. She would also submit that such private or public life of public personalities has to be brought to the public's view for the public interest and the personal interest of the plaintiff will not stand before the public interest. She would also refer to the typed set of papers regarding 'Kumudham' publication running from Pages No.1 to 82 and would submit that the plaintiff cannot deny the contents in those pages published as her memoirs. She would also submit that the writings in 'Saavy' could not also be denied by the plaintiff since the plaintiff herself gave the particulars and those contents were written in the manuscript for bringing into the notice of the public.42. She would further submit that even though an ad-interim injunction was granted without perusal of the book, after the parties have appeared before Court how it could be continued without seeing the book and extended until further orders. She would further submit that such extension of injunction was against natural justice.43. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would further submit that the third defendant is a famous writer and winner of several awards for writing the cause of women and she has no intention to malign the reputation of the plaintiff by writing this book and she is ready to produce evidence in respect of furnishing of information at any time as directed by this Court. She would also submit that the consent of the person is not required if reasonable verification was done by the author as laid down in Khushwant Singh's case. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would also point out from pages 4, 11, 22, 24, 53, 54, 55 and 56 from the manuscript (the proposed book) and was submitting that those passages were written by the author (third defendant) lauding the plaintiff and such laudatory passages would prove that there was no intention on the part of the third defendant to bring defamation through publication of the said book. She would also submit that the positives of the plaintiff was written by interwoven the negatives and both have to be read together and if the whole book is read accordingly, the praise for the plaintiff would be understood and there would not be any defamatory passage in the said book. She would also submit that if the plaintiff consents with, the third defendant is ready to modify the seven points mentioned in the plaint, from her book.44. The learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 would also submit that the third defendant had worked, very much, for two years to write the book and why should she suffer when she is entitled to a right of freedom of expression available to her. She would also submit that the blanket injunction cannot be given in an unfounded fears and without any prima facie case. She would also submit that the reliance placed by the learned counsel for the plaintiff on Von Hannover case would not apply to the case, since the facts are different. She would further submit that the facts of the Campbell's case are also not relevant to the present case and therefore, the principles laid down in the said judgments are not applicable.45. She would also submit that the judgments relied upon by the learned counsel for the plaintiff in AIR 2004 Bombay 143 (Shree Maheshwar Hydel Power Corporation Ltd., ..vs.. Chitroopa Palit and another) is in favour of the third defendant, since reasonable verification has been done by the third defendant before writing the book on the plaintiff and it was also written by her in public interest. She would also submit that the third defendant had mainly relied upon the memoirs of the plaintiff published in 'Kumudham' magazine and the interviews in 'Saavy' during the year 1985 and therefore, no further verification is necessary in respect of those particulars gathered from the said magazines. She would also submit that the Court may even at the interlocutory stage go through the book and could find out whether the contents of the book are defamatory or laudatory or critical and to decide the issue. She would also rely upon the passage from Shilpa Shetty cases referring the judgments of the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of AIR 1956 SC 541 (Kartar Singh ..vs.. State of Punjab) following the English judgments and the observation made that those persons, who occupied public position, must not be too thin skinned in reference or comments made upon them. Placing reliance upon the said judgment, she would argue that the critical and laudatory comments made in the book against the plaintiff, who is a public official and the present Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, could also be applied here. She would also submit that the principles laid down in Khushwant Singh's case is very much relied upon by the defendants in which, it has been categorically laid down that the ultimate remedy is damages after the publication of the articles against public personalities and there cannot be any injunction.

46. She would also submit that the persons who gave information and particulars to write the book were Mr.Solai, a political writer, who was helping the plaintiff, Film News Mr.Anandhan, who was the PRO of the plaintiff, the actress Ms.Kumari Sachchu, who is a good friend of the plaintiff, and her school classmates like Mrs.Srimathi and Mrs.Santhini. Those information given by the said persons would not lie and therefore, reasonable verification done through them would be sufficient against the public official, like the plaintiff. The book, namely, 'Daughter of the South' written by Mr.P.C.Ganesan, who passed away and the book namely, ' J Jayalalitha : Ammu muthal Amma Varai' written by J.Ramki were also referred in the proposed book and therefore, there would not be any false information in the book, which would not be certainly defamatory. She would further submit that the memoirs written by the plaintiff in 'Kumudham' magazine, the interview given in 'Saavy' in the year 1985 and the books published by Mr.P.C.Ganesan and Mr.J.Ramki were already in public domain and the public would have got the knowledge of those incidents and there would not be any new things told in the book written by the third defendant, but in a different style. She would also submit that when the public are having such knowledge in their mind about those incidents, both in private and public life of the plaintiff, the release or publication of the book would not in any way prejudice or damage the reputation of the plaintiff. The third defendant was sufficiently aged, who has written many number of books and had a reputation in her field and she had expended much time and money for writing this book and the gag order of injunction is seriously affecting the third defendant and such an order should have been vacated. In case it is not vacated, the defendants 1 and 3 will seriously be prejudiced and put to irreparable loss and therefore, the balance of convenience is only in favour of the defendants 1 and 3 and in favour of vacating the order of ad-interim injunction. Therefore, she would request the Court to dismiss the application filed by the plaintiff in O.A.No.417 of 2011 and to allow the application filed by the defendants 1 and 3 in A.No.2570 of 2011 for vacating the ad-interim injunction.

47. I have given anxious thoughts to the arguments advanced on either side.

48. The suit has been filed by the plaintiff for the following reliefs:-

(i) to pass a decree of permanent injunction restraining the defendants, its allied media, representatives and assigns from publishing the plaintiff’s Biography – 'Jayalalithaa – A Portrait' or by any other name, in any other form or in any manner, without prior written consent and verification of the plaintiff; and

(ii) to award costs of the suits.'

49. The plaintiff has sought for temporary injunction in O.A.No.417 of 2011 based upon the averments made in the plaint as well as in the affidavit filed in support of the application. This Court had considered the averments made in the plaint, affidavit and documents produced thereon and passed an order of ad-interim injunction on finding a prima-facie case in publishing the book namely, "Jayalalithaa - A Portrait" as written by the third defendant. The said ad-interim injunction granted at an earlier point of time was extended till further orders on 28.10.2011.

50. The claim of the plaintiff seeking for injunction was that she was the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu during the period 1991-1996 and 2001-2006 and she is the General Secretary of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, a recognised political party with the followers of more than 1.5 crores. The further claim made by the plaintiff was that she has got valuable reputation throughout the State as well as in the Country and her image on the party people as well as public is high. The further case of the plaintiff was that during March 2011, the weekly magazine of the fourth defendant, viz., ‘Outlook’ circulated by the fifth defendant published that the defendants 1 and 2 are proposing to publish a biography ("Jayalalithaa - A Portrait") authored by the third defendant as an article with purported excerpts from it in the said passage and on going through the said passage published in ‘Outlook’ magazine of fourth defendant in March 2011 Issue, the plaintiff found that they would show unverified facts and those publication had also spoiled her image and the said particulars mentioned therein itself were not true nor genuine and the alleged book, namely, the biography of the plaintiff ("Jayalalithaa - A Portrait") if published would certainly violate the right of privacy of the plaintiff. It is further averred that the major content of the said biography is malicious and beyond all limits of decency, which would invade the right of privacy granted under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The further case of the plaintiff was that such publication may amount to defame the plaintiff by entering into the private matters without consent and without verifying the truthfulness, whether those publications are laudatory or critical. It has been further put forth that the defendants 1 to 3 cannot claim that they are entitled to the right of freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 19 (1) of the Constitution of India, since the said right would be available to them in a qualified and limited extent and it cannot be used for violating the right of privacy of the plaintiff guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. According to the case of the plaintiff, the defendants 1 to 3 cannot publish anything freehandedly under the guise of expression of freedom of press and the right to publish the biography containing defamatory reports and without any basis whatsoever. The defendants 1 to 3 wanted to publish the biography namely "Jayalalithaa - A Portrait" without any verification of the incidents and other particulars mentioned therein after verifying with the plaintiff as to its truth and genuineness. The plaintiff has also reserved her right to proceed against the defendants 4 and 5, who had published the excerpts of the proposed publication of biography, namely, "Jayalalithaa - A Portrait" seeking for damages, since those excerpts themselves contain purely false and defamatory statements. Therefore, the said biography, namely, "Jayalalithaa - A Portrait" authored by the third defendant was sought to be restrained from being published by the defendants 1 and 2, since the publication would cause irreparable and immeasurable damages to the reputation and image of the plaintiff. The grant of injunction would not infringe the right of freedom to speech and right guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India available to the defendants 1 to 3, since it was restricted to decency and truthfulness.

51. However, it was contended by the defendants 1 and 3 that the substance written in the book styled as "Jayalalithaa - A Portrait" was not a biography, but it was containing bundle of facts, which were already available in the public domain and by recapitulating those facts in the form of a book would not amount to invasion of privacy. Further, it was stated that the plaintiff was made to unfortunate presumption against an yet to be released book authored by third defendant, since the defendants 4 and 5 have exceeded in publishing the excerpts from the book, which were not written in the book and for that the third defendant was not responsible. Furthermore, it has been contended that it was not the intention of the third defendant to write what others had already written to present the same point of view expressed by several others and further sensationalise what had already been highlighted by those with vested interest to titillate and demean. The defendants 1 and 3 cannot take responsibility of what journalists chose to right in their magazine regarding the excerpts of the book, namely, "Jayalalithaa - A Portrait". The book written by the third defendant which contains 300 odd pages cannot be weighed by the excerpts published in the journal belonging to the defendants 4 and 5. The said book was not a biography, but was A Portrait of the plaintiff seen through the eyes of the journalist and writer, who was having much reputation for writing more than 50 years. The third defendant had so far authored number of books and won recognition and awards on innumerable times and she had no intention to harass any one leave alone the plaintiff. The said publication of the book, "Jayalalithaa - A Portrait" would not invade in the private life of the plaintiff as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, since those particulars were already published and the public was made known through 'Kumudham' magazine and 'Saavy' and other biography written by one Mr.P.C.Ganesan, in the name of "Daughter of the South – Biography of Jayalalitha" and by J.Ramki, in the name of 'J Jayalalitha : Ammu Muthal Amma Varai". Further, it was contended that the plaintiff cannot seek for injunction against the publication of the book written by the third defendant under the guise of the right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, since she is a public person and whose activities touching the public functions could be covered by the right to freedom of expression guaranteed to the third defendant under Article 19 of the Constitution of India. Even if the plaintiff is aggrieved by any such violation of her private life through the publication of the book, she would not be left without any remedy as she is always entitled to go for damages for such violations of right to privacy. The third defendant would aware that there was no such violation of privacy in the said book. The plaintiff was not giving any interviews for ascertaining any truth or genuineness of the fact and therefore, the third defendant could not verify with her, but verified with her close associates, namely, one Mr.Solai, her friend Ms.Kumari Sachu and her PRO Film News Mr.Anandhan, apart from gathering the facts from 'Kumudham' magazine, 'Saavy' and other biographies. Even otherwise, the defendants 1 to 3 had issued an 'E-mail' for verification of the facts mentioned in the book, but there was no reply from the plaintiff. Therefore, the defendants 1 to 3 have asked for vacating the ad-interim injunction passed against the defendants 1 to 3 and thereby, to dismiss the claim of the plaintiff for temporary injunction till the disposal of the suit.

52. No doubt at the motion of the plaintiff, on going through the plaint filed and the affidavit produced therein satisfied with the averments made in the plaint, this Court has granted ad-interim injunction. While granting ad-interim injunction, this Court was satisfied with the seven points made in the plaint as excerpts published in the 'Outlook' magazine belongs to the defendants 4 and 5 regarding the publication of book written by the third defendant in the name and style of "Jayalalithaa – A Portrait". This Court felt that the excerpts themselves are derogatory in nature and therefore, prima facie case was found in favour of the plaintiff. The contention raised by the learned counsel for the defendants 1 and 3 was that this Court did not peruse the proposed book written by the third defendant to come to the conclusion of granting an injunction and therefore, it was a gag order and such a blanket injunction should not be given and be periodically extended. The said argument advanced by the learned counsel for the defendants 1 and 3 cannot be appreciated because, the seven points made in the plaint should have been considered as true to be found in the proposed book and an order was passed thereon. If really those excerpts were not found in the book, if it was an exaggeration of the publisher, the Court could modify its order. Even though, the defendants 1 and 3 have stated that the excerpts were the exaggeration of publisher, namely, the defendants 4 and 5, it has not been pointed out as to which excerpt is the own thinking of the defendants 4 and 5. Therefore, the contention raised by the learned counsel for the defendants 1 and 3 that a gag order is passed without going through the book is not sustainable.

53. The admitted facts are that the plaintiff is a public personality and was the Chief Minister of State on two terms from 1991 - 1996 and 2001 – 2006 during the time of filing of the suit. She was also elected as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in the general election held after the filing of the suit and she is presently continuing to be the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The defendants 1 and 3 have categorically submitted in their arguments that the book was written on a public official, namely, the plaintiff in the form of a book about her life style from her childhood till she attain the present position, with the information gathered from the close associates of the plaintiff, namely, Mr.Solai, the political writer and helper to the plaintiff, Film News Mr.Anandan, the former PRO of the plaintiff, Ms.Kumari Sachchu, an actress closely associated with the plaintiff and from the books written by Mr.P.C.Ganesan in the name 'Daughter of the South – Biography of Jayalalitha' and the book written by Mr.J.Ramki in the name 'J Jayalalitha : Ammu muthal Amma varai' and also from the earlier childhood friends, namely, Mrs.Srimathi and Mrs.Santhini and for that the defendants 1 and 3 have submitted that reasonable verification is deemed to be done, since the contents of the books were gathered not only from those close associates of the plaintiff, but also from the memoirs written by the plaintiff herself in 'Kumudham' magazine and interview given by the plaintiff in 'Saavy' in the year 1985 and therefore, it has to be deemed that reasonable verification has been done. In support of her argument, the learned counsel for the defendants 1 and 3 placed reliance of the judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court AIR 1995 SC 264 : (1994) 6 SCC 632 (Rajagopal ..vs.. State of Tamil Nadu) (popularly known as Autoshankar's Case) and also the judgment of this Court reported in AIR 2006 Madras 312 (R.Rajagopal @ R.R.Gopal @ Nakkheeran Gopal and another ..vs.. J.Jalalalitha and another). The relevant passage relied upon by the learned counsel for the third defendant in the judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court AIR 1995 SC 264 : (1994) 6 SCC 632 (Rajagopal ..vs.. State of Tamil Nadu) (popularly known as Autoshankar's Case) would be as follows:-

'26.…. This is so even where the publication is based upon facts and statements which are not true, unless the official establishes that the publication was made (by the defendant) with reckless disregard for truth. In such a case, it would be enough for the defendant (member of the press or media) to prove that he acted after a reasonable verification of the facts; it is not necessary for him to prove that what he has written is true. …….'

54. Based upon the said judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court, this Court in AIR 2006 Madras 312 (R.Rajagopal @ R.R.Gopal @ Nakkheeran Gopal and another ..vs.. J.Jalalalitha and another) laid down the principle as follows:-

"26. ….. All that the Supreme Court indicated is that the proof that the member of the press or media acted after a reasonable verification of the facts would be sufficient. …..'

55. The aforesaid dictums laid down by the Hon'ble Apex Court and this Court would be that a reasonable verification of the contents would be sufficient in respect of public personalities are concerned. The said dictum has been laid down in respect of an article written in a magazine about a public personality. Now, we have to see whether such reasonable verification has been done by the third defendant is the crucial point.

56. The persons, who are said to have given information to the third defendant for writing those incidents or happenings in the book were stated to be Mr.Solai, Film News Mr.Anandan, Ms.Kumari Sachchu, Mrs.Santhini and Mrs.Srimathi. Those persons were stated to have closely associated with the plaintiff. It has not been stated that they are not available for obtaining any verification. If really, the third defendant was quite sure about getting information from those persons, she would have obtained sworn affidavits from all those persons, who gave information to her for the purpose of enlightening the Court that she had done reasonable verification with those persons regarding the truthfulness of the contents of the book. It was not done so. The alleged recording of interviews of those persons in the cassettes was not also established for the purpose of showing the reasonable verification. Even if it is produced, it must be supported by the sworn affidavits of those persons concerned.

57. As regards the books written by Mr.P.C.Ganesan in the name and style of ' Daughter of the South – Biography of Jayalalitha' and by Mr.Ramki in the name and style of ' J Jayalalitha : Ammu muthal Ammal varai', those books were stated to have published without the consent of the plaintiff. While submitting the arguments, the learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff submitted that no consent was obtained by those persons and they are the unauthorised books without the consent of the plaintiff. It was submitted by the learned counsel for the defendants 1 and 3 that the author Mr.P.C.Ganesan was working as Editor of 'Namadhu MGR', a newspaper published by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, in which the plaintiff is the General Secretary and therefore, it was argued that the contents in those books should have been true. In respect of those articles or books in public domain, the argument addressed by the learned counsel for the defendants 1 and 3 that they were already in circulation among the public and the public had full knowledge about those incidents written in those books. The same argument was advanced in respect of the memoirs written by the plaintiff in 'Kumudham' magazine and also the interview given to 'Saavy' in the year 1985. It was further argued by the learned counsel for the defendants 1 and 3 that the plaintiff cannot go behind her voluntary statements made in the memoirs and interviews and therefore, those information and the contents in the memoirs and the interviews in 'Kumudham' and 'Saavy' would not require any verification since, they are in public domain.58. Whether these magazines and books available in public domain would be considered as authenticative to write those particulars in the present book written by the third defendant. For that, we have to resort to the principles laid down by the Hon'ble Delhi High Court in Phoolan Devi's case reported in 57 (1995) DLT 154. The relevant passage would go to show in paragraph No.37, which would run as follows:-

'37. … Now, I deal with the question of public record. What has been argued before me by the learned counsel for the defendants that in view of numerous press reports, interviews in newspapers as well as in video magazines at home and abroad the subject matter of the film right to privacy is not available to the plaintiff. The argument of the learned counsel for the defendants is devoid of any force. Voluminous newspapers, periodicals, magazines which have been filed in the Court, it cannot be understood or implied that at any stage, the plaintiff had admitted in unequivocal terms that she was raped or gang raped or had sexual intercourse or was paraded nude at Behmai, which according to the learned counsel for the defendants are public records. Time and again, it has been held that such records are not public records as contemplated by Supreme Court in Auto Shankar’s case.'

[Emphasis supplied]

59. The said judgment was following the principle laid down in 'Auto Sankar's case' reported in Hon'ble Apex Court AIR 1995 SC 264 : (1994) 6 SCC 632 (Rajagopal ..vs.. State of Tamil Nadu). In the said judgment, the Hon'ble Apex Court had also laid down that the publications concerning the citizen's own life, his family, marriage, procreation, motherhood, child-bearing and education among other matters become unobjectionable, if such publication is based upon public records including court records, which excludes the news items in newspaper and articles in magazines.

60. The aforesaid dictum laid down by Delhi High Court as well as the Hon'ble Apex Court would show that the magazines and the news items in the newspapers would not constitute public records even though they are in public domain. Therefore, the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the defendants 1 and 3 that the information about an individual culled out from the magazines and other journals or memoirs said to have been given by the plaintiff would not be considered as taken from the public record so as to give an authenticity to publish against the said personality. The principle laid down in Phoolan Devi's case is squarely applicable to the present case, which would disqualify the books written by Mr.P.C.Ganesan and Mr.J.Ramki and the memoirs of the plaintiff from Kumudham, interview with 'Saavy' as not reliable, since they are not considered to be public records. The same fate is applicable to the book written by Mr.RM.Veerappan and the letters published by Murasoli. As I have already discussed, the collections of data or information from the alleged close associates of the plaintiff, namely, Mr.Solai, Film News Mr.Anandan, Ms.Kumari Sachchu, Mrs.Santhini and Mrs.Srimathi were not supported by any sworn affidavits to the effect that they have given information to the third defendant to write the book about the plaintiff and those information are not true and correct. Therefore, the reasonable verification said to have done by the third defendant regarding the correctness of the contents of the book written by her on the plaintiff in the name of "Jayalalithaa – A Portrait" cannot be considered as done in accordance with the principles laid down by the Hon'ble Apex Court and this Court.

61. When reasonable verifications were not done, can it be considered that a person can write anything in a book under the right of freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India, is a question. Similarly, if such writings on any person are defamatory in nature or an invasion towards the privacy or private life of any person, could it be written under the aforesaid right of freedom of expression to the detriment of the right of privacy guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.62. Admittedly, the plaintiff is a public personality on whom, the third defendant had written a book. The third defendant had started to write the book in the year 2008 and had completed the same during the year 2010 and it was getting ready to be published during May 2011 as per the excerpts found in the 'Outlook' magazine. Of course, the third defendant is a writer and she is entitled to write or express things and publish them to the knowledge of the public. The said right is guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India. Such a right should have been exercised very carefully since the right of privacy is also guaranteed to any individual under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. According to the constitutional recognition given to the right to privacy, it protects personal life and privacy against unlawful invasion whether it is laudatory or critical without his or her consent and at the same time, the right to freedom of press guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India has also to be respected and such right is subject to the limit of avoiding the invasion of privacy of any person. When such a person is a public official, there are certain freedom given to the press to go freely in writing the public activities of that public person, but the restriction is as equal to an individual regarding the private life. The said subject has been held detailedly by the Hon'ble Apex Court reported in AIR 1995 SC 264 : (1994) 6 SCC 632 (Rajagopal ..vs.. State of Tamil Nadu) in paragraph 26, which would run as follows:-

'26.……

'(1)The right to privacy is implicit in the right to life and liberty guaranteed to the citizens of this country by Article 21. It is a "right to be let alone". A citizen has a right to safeguard the privacy of his own, his family, marriage, procreation, motherhood, child-bearing and education among other matters. None can publish anything concerning the above matters without his consent whether truthful or otherwise and whether laudatory or critical. If he does so, he would be violating the right to privacy of the person concerned and would be liable in an action for damages. Position may, however, be different, if a person voluntarily thrusts himself into controversy or voluntarily invites or raises a controversy. (2)The rule aforesaid is subject to the exception, that any publication concerning the aforesaid aspects becomes unobjectionable if such publication is based upon public records including court records. This is for the reason that once a matter becomes a matter of public record, the right to privacy no longer subsists and it becomes a legitimate subject for comment by press and media among others. We are, however, of the opinion that in the interests of decency [Article 19(2) an exception must be carved out to this rule, viz., a female who is the victim of a sexual assault, kidnap, abduction or a like offence should not further be subjected to the indignity of her name and the incident being publicised in press/media. (3)There is yet another exception to the rule in (1) above - indeed, this is not an exception but an independent rule. In the case of public officials, it is obvious, right to privacy, or for that matter, the remedy of action for damages is simply not available with respect to their acts and conduct relevant to the discharge of their official duties. This is so even where the publication is based upon facts and statements which are not true, unless the official establishes that the publication was made (by the defendant) with reckless disregard for truth. In such a case, it would be enough for the defendant (member of the press or media) to prove that he acted after a reasonable verification of the facts; it is not necessary for him to prove that what he has written is true. Of course, where the publication is proved to be false and actuated by malice or personal animosity, the defendant would have no defence and would be liable for damages. It is equally obvious that in matters not relevant to the discharge of his duties, the public official enjoys the same protection as any other citizen, as explained in (1) and (2) above.'

[Emphasis supplied]

63. On a careful understanding of the aforesaid dictum, I could see that the right of privacy of an individual is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and it is a right to be let alone. As regards the particulars of marriage, family, procreation, motherhood, child bearing, education and other matters, anything published concerning the above matters without his or her consent whether truthful or otherwise whether laudatory or critical, it would be violating the right of privacy of a person concerned. As far as a public personality is concerned, the right of privacy is equivalent to that of an individual when it is not associated with the public life. Therefore, a thin difference has been put forth regarding the private life of a public official and the public duties of the public official. Even a public official's private life is touched by publishing the information regarding those private matters without consent and verification, it would be an invasion of private life or privacy. Once it has been published without such consent or verification, the remedy would be the damages. In the case of a publication made already by a person, there would not be any injunction, since it was already published and the appropriate remedy would be the damages. In case where the article or journal or any book yet to be published, in which the private life of any person is written whether defamatory or laudatory or critical, which were not reasonably verified or no consent has been obtained, the principle of awarding damages would not be applied since, the said circumstance of awarding damages has not arisen. Hence, the principle laid down in Khushwant Singh’s case is not applicable to the present case, since the proposed book is yet to be published.

64. As far as this case is concerned, this Court had granted an order of ad-interim injunction on perusal of the excerpts published in the 'Outlook' magazine by stating that those particulars have been contained in the book likely to be published. Those excerpts would themselves are considered to be defamatory and not with the consent and knowledge of the plaintiff. Moreover, for publishing those private life of the plaintiff, admittedly, there was no consent obtained from the plaintiff. It is an admitted case of the defendants that the third defendant could not meet the plaintiff even from 1984, despite she was living in Madras when she was working as the Editor of 'Times of India'. Therefore, the author – third defendant was not sure about the incidents happened in the life of the plaintiff nor had she verified prior to the publication of excerpts in 'Outlook' magazine with the plaintiff. Even after filing the suit, no such requisition for verification was made by the third defendant with the plaintiff for giving her consent to publish the book containing her private life also. The letters said to have been written by the defendants 1 to 3 to the plaintiff through E-mail was also produced for the perusal of the Court, which are also after the filing of the suit and that too, not written in respect of ascertaining the truthfulness of the book. In such circumstances, I could see that the third defendant has not verified with the plaintiff regarding the contents of the book nor obtained any consent from the plaintiff for the publication of the book nor verified the particulars of the book with the plaintiff.65. Now, we have to see whether the private life of the plaintiff had been referred to in the book and if so, whether they are violating the right of privacy and to private life of the plaintiff. The learned counsel for the plaintiff had pointed out several portions in the manuscript of the book produced by the third defendant in pages 4, 12, 14, 20, 27, 29, 30, 31, 42, 43, 44, 47, 49, 51, 52, 73, 111, 121, 143, 144 and 149 as violating the right of privacy of the plaintiff. On a careful reading of those contents of those passages, I could see that they are purely in respect of the private life of the plaintiff. Apart from that, those passages would be in the form of defamatory nature in the guise of praising the plaintiff. Similarly, I have also perused the passages lauding the plaintiff as submitted by the learned counsel for the defendants in pages 4, 11, 22, 24, 53, 54 and 56 of the book. On a close reading, I could see that they were almost made for the purpose of introducing the defamatory nature of passages and the passages referred to the private life of the plaintiff as stated supra. As a whole, the book dealing with the life of the plaintiff was a satirical one. The contents mentioning about the absolute private life of the plaintiff would spoil the entire things stated to have been lauding the plaintiff. Therefore, if the book is published, certainly, it would bring disrespect and cause damages to the image and name of the plaintiff.66. The judgement of Human Right's Court of Europe, High Court of Chancery, U.K cited supra as referred by the learned counsel for the plaintiff regarding the damages to private life can be understood on going through the cases of 'Von Hannover ..vs.. Germany' and 'Campbell..vs.. MGN Ltd.,'case. Even though, the taking of photographs without the consent of the Princess Caroline of Monoco and the model Campbell would amount to violation of right to privacy guaranteed under Human Rights Act and those principles can be taken and applied here, since the third defendant did not do any reasonable verification, nor those contents of the book have been obtained from public records.

67. Based upon the case of the plaintiff and the defendants 1 to 3, it was vehemently argued by the learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff that if the submissions of the defendants are true, the defendants would have approached for verification of the facts before filing of the suit and nothing was put forth by the defendants 1 to 3 for verification of the facts mentioned therein. No doubt, the third defendant had written the book in the name of "Jayalalithaa - A Portrait" and it is ready for publication with the defendants 1 and 2. The excerpts published in March 2011 Issue of defendants 4 and 5 would go to show that the said book was likely to be published during May 2011. Similarly, the interview of the third defendant had by the newspaper 'The Hindu Metroplus Weekend’ produced by the plaintiff would also disclose that the said book would be published during the above said period. The said interview given by the third defendant with 'The Hindu Metroplus Weekend' dated 08.04.2011 would state that it was a biography of the plaintiff authored by the third defendant. The plaintiff has also described in the plaint that the proposed book written by the third defendant was a biography with the title of "Jayalalithaa - A Portrait". When the interview given by the third defendant herself would go to show that the book written by the third defendant was a biography and it contains the life of the plaintiff from her birth onwards, I could see that it is only a biography of the plaintiff written by the third defendant, by whatever name it is called by the third defendant.

68. If it is a biography or even a book on the plaintiff, can it be written without any verification about the truth and genuineness of the facts mentioned therein from the plaintiff, is the question to be decided. Insofar as the writing of biographies are concerned, each and every facts should have been obtained only from the person, who has been centred in the biography. The dictionary meaning of the biography is "an account of someone's life written by someone else". The quotes of a person's life should be obtained only from the said individual and not from any other source. If it is obtained from any other source, it could be termed as an article or a book and not a Biography. Even otherwise, the said writings are considered as articles, the truthfulness and genuineness of the said facts should have been verified from the said person. The judgment of this Court as cited by the learned counsel for the defendants 1 to 3 as reported in AIR 2006 Madras 312 (R.Rajagopal @ R.R.Gopal @ Nakkheeran Gopal and another ..vs.. J.Jalalalitha and another) would be as follows:-

' 31. …….. All that the Supreme Court indicated is that the proof that the member of the press or media acted after a reasonable verification of the facts would be sufficient. However, at the same time, it must be noted that the Supreme Court in R.Rajagopal’s Case has clearly held that a citizen has a right to safeguard the privacy of his own, his family, marriage, procreation, motherhood, child bearing and education, among other matters, and none can publish anything in reference to the above matters without his/her consent _ whether laudatory or critical. Therefore, if an article is purely relating to the personal life of a public official, it would be necessary for the member of the press or media to publish such article only after a reasonable verification of the facts. The position may, however, be different if a person voluntarily thrust himself or herself into a controversy or voluntarily invites or raises a controversy. In the circumstances, we direct the appellants that whenever they propose to publish any article purely concerning personal life of the first respondent or the second respondent or both, the appellants shall forward their queries and/or the gist of the proposed article, as the case may be, to the fax number furnished by the learned counsel appearing for the respondents. The first respondent or the second respondent or both, as the case may be, shall respond to the queries of the appellants in relation to their proposed article to the fax number of the appellants. However, if there is no response to the queries either from the first respondent or the second respondent within 36 hours from receiving such queries, the appellants will be entitled to proceed to publish the proposed article in their bi-weekly. …..'

[Emphasis supplied]

69. In the said judgment of this Court, it has been indicated that the articles to be published by a magazine in respect of personal life of a public official, it would be necessary for the member of the Press or Media to publish the article only after reasonable verification of the facts. That was laid down by this Court after following the judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court in Rajagopal's case in respect of an article on a public official in respect of his private life. In respect of the particular case discussed therein, this Court has given direction to verify with the public official through the fax or some other communications and if no reply has been received within 36 hours, the member of press can publish such article.

70. Whether this dictum is applicable to a biography is an opt question. The third defendant did not write an article in a magazine regarding the private life of the plaintiff. No doubt, the plaintiff is a public official functioning as Chief Minister presently as well as during the earlier periods 1991-1996 and 2001-2006. The alleged requisition for verification said to have been issued on 01.06.2011 by the first defendant mentioned in the letter dated 27.05.2011. The said letter dated 26.05.2011 along with the E-mail dated 01.06.2011 and yet another E-mail dated 07.06.2011 have been produced in the form of a typed set for the perusal of the Court. In the said letter, it has been stated about the particulars of the book likely to be published and was seeking an appointment to speak on telephone. Even on that occasion, the manuscript of the book styled as "Jayalalithaa - A Portrait" was not given to the plaintiff for verification. It is very clear that the said book was handed over by the learned counsel for the third defendant to the learned counsel for the plaintiff in open Court and it was gone through by the plaintiff and it was represented that those facts are not depicting the true facts.

71. In such circumstances, it can be very much understood that the defendants 1 to 3 did not hand over the said book, namely, "Jayalalithaa - A Portrait" to the plaintiff for complete verification and for her consent to publish the said facts in the form of a book. When there was no consent given by the plaintiff for publishing the said book, namely, "Jayalalithaa - A Portrait", the defendants 1 to 3 cannot publish the said book even otherwise the said book is not construed as a biography. Therefore, the dictum laid down by this Court in the judgment reported in AIR 2006 Madras 312 (R.Rajagopal @ R.R.Gopal @ Nakkheeran Gopal and another ..vs.. J.Jalalalitha and another) is not helpful to the defendants 1 and 3 and alsoto the facts and circumstances of the case submitted by the third defendant.

72. A biography is a detailed description or account of some one's life, which has to be written by another person upon the dictation of the person, whose biography is written. Autobiography is about a life of subject written by that person himself. The judgment of Delhi High Court as laid down in Khushwant Singh's Case was very much relied upon by the learned counsel for the defendants 1 and 3. The relevant passage in paragraph 71 would be as follows:-

'71. There is no doubt that there are two competing interests to be balanced as submitted by the learned counsel for the respondent, that of the author to write and publish and the right of an individual against invasion of privacy and the threat of defamation. However, the balancing of these rights would be considered at the stage of the claim of damages for defamation rather than a preventive action for injuncting of against the publication itself.'

[Emphasis supplied]

73. In the aforesaid dictum of Delhi High Court, it was considered that the claim of damages for defamation rather than the preventive action for an injunction against the publication was ordered considering the stage of the said case. When we go through the stage of that case, in which the injunction sought for by the plaintiff therein against the publication of the autobiography written by Khushwant Singh after it was pub

Please Login To View The Full Judgment!

lished and reached the public domain. The plaintiff therein, Maneka Gandhi had filed a suit for injunction when it was sought to be republished by stating that the involvement of Maneka Gandhi as spoken in the autobiography were nothing but the invasion of her private life. In the background of the said circumstances and the stage of the case that the said autobiography was already published, the remedy in that case was considered to be only damages and not a preventive injunction order. As regards this case, we can see that the plaintiff has come forward immediately before the publication as declared in the 'Outlook' magazine with the excerpts of the said book and approached the Court for preventive remedy. There was no prior publication in this case. The preventive ad-interim injunction was ordered and was in force and therefore, the proposed book styled as "Jayalalithaa – A Portrait" written by third defendant was not published at all. Therefore, the stage of the case is different from the stage of the case discussed in Khushwant Singh's case. Moreover, I have discussed about the difference between the biography and autobiography in the earlier paragraphs. Certainly autobiography is different from biography. In the case dealt with by Delhi High Court, namely, Khushwant Singh’s case, the autobiography written by Khushwant Singh in respect of his relation with other persons and one among them was Maneka Gandhi, who sought the relief of injunction restraining the author from invading her right to privacy. In an autobiography reasonable verification would be always available, since it was experienced by the author himself in his autobiography. But in the case of a biography, it is not so. The subject of the biography has to be dictate or explain all the incidents regarding the life of that subject so as to give authentication for those writings. Admittedly, the third defendant did not get any authentication or consent from the plaintiff. It is not the case of the third defendant that the plaintiff has asked her to write biography of the plaintiff, but the third defendant herself has started writing about the life of the plaintiff without any consent of the plaintiff. But the book was only revolving around the plaintiff from her childhood to the present position. Therefore, whatever name it is called, it would only be a biography and not else. So far as a biography is concerned, it must be dictated by the person, who is the subject of the biography and the author should write it to the consent and the verification from the said subject. It is totally absent in this case. The private life of the plaintiff was centred around even prior to her entering politics and those contents were not verified nor any reasonable verification was done by the third defendant. In the said circumstances, the contents of the book was openly denied by the learned senior counsel appearing for the plaintiff, containing false and incorrect particulars. In such circumstances, I could see that the private life of the plaintiff, even though she is a public official should have been protected as that of an individual as per the dictum laid down by the Hon’ble Apex Court in Rajagopal's case. Hence, the principles laid down in Khushwant Singh’s case is not applicable to the present case. 74. Moreover, I do not find that the private life of the plaintiff prior to her public life were not involved with the public life of the plaintiff and that cannot be segregated from the book so as to give a colour that the private life mingled with the public activities of the plaintiff have been written, so as to permit the third defendant to write private life of the plaintiff touching the public activities as public official. Therefore, the dictum laid down by the Hon’ble Apex Court reported in 1994 (6) SCC 632 'Auto Sankar’s case' as extracted above is applicable to the present case in favour of the plaintiff only. Therefore, I could see a prima facie case in favour of the plaintiff from seeking a relief of injunction at the hands of this Court. 75. It was strenuously argued by the learned counsel appearing for the defendants 1 and 3 that this Court has passed a gag order without going through the book and without any prima facie case. In the earlier paragraphs, I have discussed that this Court was fully satisfied with a prima facie case on the basis of the excerpts given in the ‘Outlook’ magazine. Furthermore, in the cover story of the said magazine it was mentioned to the effect that the ‘untold’ incidents happened in the life of the plaintiff. That would go to show that the third defendant had come forward with new incidents, which were not published earlier. Per contra, it was the argument throughout on behalf of the third defendant that she had gathered information from the close associates of the plaintiff, which could not be incorrect. The plaintiff, who has come forward with the case for preventive relief is very much established the prima facie case. Now, we have to see whether the balance of convenience is in favour of the plaintiff or in favour of the defendants. 76. Admittedly, the plaintiff was the Chief Minister of the State on two terms earlier and she was also elected and is functioning as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in the year 2011, which is subsequent to the suit. The party, namely, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, she leads, is the biggest party in Tamil Nadu, containing more than 1.5 crores of the followers. The said facts mentioned in the plaint as well as in the affidavit had not been controverted. During her tenure as Chief Minister of the State, she had commenced many number of schemes for the welfare of the people and numerous people have been benefited. If the contents derogatory and referring to private life of the plaintiff are permitted to be published under the guise of explaining the laudatory contents, it will certainly cause damages to the reputation of the plaintiff and also the party she belongs to and the several crores of followers of the plaintiff. Such damage likely to be caused is certainly immeasurable and incalculable. That is irreparable too. 77. It is not the case of the third defendant that the plaintiff had asked her or authorised her to write a book on her life in the name of ‘Jayalalithaa – A Portrait’ or as a biography and the third defendant had commenced the said work as per her instructions in the year 2008 and the plaintiff had suddenly stopped such writing of the third defendant. Per contra, it is the case of the third defendant that she had commenced the work on her own volition to write about the plaintiff and is said to have worked for two years on the preparation of the book. I have already discussed and found that there was no prior consent obtained by the plaintiff from the plaintiff nor reasonable verification was done by the third defendant. Smilarly, I have found that the private life of the plaintiff written was not involved with the public activities, which is an exception as per the judgment of the Hon’ble Apex Court in Autosankar’s case. When the third defendant herself had done all these things on her own volition, she cannot come forward with the plea of incurring much expenditure and she was a notable writer regarding the life of the woman and so on. Therefore, I could see that there could not be any damage or loss caused to the defendants 1 and 3 on the grant of ad-interim injunction or temporary injunction restraining the publication of the said book pending disposal of the suit. The defendants are responsible for their own commissions and omissions and therefore, this Court could see that the balance of convenience is only in favour of the plaintiff and not in favour of the defendants. In the said circumstances, ad-interim injunction order passed by this Court was not a gag order, but was an order passed with reasons in order to prevent the damages. The concept of availing of damages would not be applicable to the present case, since the plaintiff has come to Court at an earlier point of time to prevent the causing of damages to her repute. Therefore, the order of ad-interim injunction passed by this Court is liable to be made absolute so as to prevent the third defendant from publication of the impugned book styled as ‘Jayalalithaa – A Portrait’ pending disposal of the suit. Despite the plaintiff was not guilty of laches in bringing this action, if the concept of damages is applied in this case, it would amount to promotion of multiplicity of proceedings, which is not permissible in law and it may amount to granting of permission to injure the reputation of the plaintiff and to heal the same with compensation. In order to reduce such multiplicity of unwanted proceedings and to avoid such contingencies, the preventive remedy of injunction has been codified in the Specific Relief Act. Therefore, I am of the considered view that the temporary injunction as sought for by the plaintiff as against the defendants is liable to be granted pending disposal of the suit. Therefore, the ad-interim injunction already ordered by this Court is made absolute. 78. Accordingly, the application in O.A.No.417 of 2011 filed by the plaintiff for injunction is ordered and consequently, the application in A.No.2570 of 2011 filed by the defendants 1 and 3 to vacate the order of ad-interim injunction is dismissed with costs.
O R