New Delhi/Mumbai: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed a criminal case pending against a Mumbai dentist before the Metropolitan Magistrate, 23rd Court Esplanade and issued notices on her petition.

She has been clubbed with her husband sending defamatory emails to a firm despite her plea that she had nothing to do with her husband's emails. The Bombay High Court, however, bracketed both since some of the emails had used the words "we" and "our".

The order passed by the bench of Justices Navin Sinha and Krishna Murari is clear that the proceedings in the metropolitan magistrate's court are stayed only "insofar as the petitioner (Dr Mrs Perola Menon) alone is concerned".

Dr Mrs Perola Menon has challenged the Bombay High Court's order on August 16 holding her and her husband Rajeev guilty of defamation of M/s Status Enterprises, the distributor in India of dental equipment manufacturer, Midmark Corporation.

She was working with Nicholson Dental Clinic of Farida Nicholson who decided to close down the clinic and gifted all equipment to Dr Menon, who opened her own clinic at Churchgate.

The dispute arose over the distributor demanding Rs 15,000 to install the dentist chair in Dr Menon's clinic and subsequently doubled the cost to Rs 30,000. The dentist's husband wrote to the manufacturer about the unethical malpractice by its distributor.

Angered by the husband putting defamatory messages on the manufacturer's Facebook account and sending emails, the distributor filed a criminal case against both the dentist and her husband, seeking their apology and Rs 1 crore as damages for tarnishing his image.

The dentist's case is that she should not be pulled up for the acts of her husband. The High Court, however, sent back the case to the trial court, noting that admittedly the dentist is not the author of the emails, but the same by her husband are in the plural forms using the words "we" and "our" and the lower courts had rightly held both husband and dentist wife as the accused. The High Court, therefore, refused to interference in the order of issuance of process against both.

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