'Every man entitled to his good name': Court while restraining KRK from defaming Salman Khan

A city civil court that actor Salman Khan had moved with a defamation suit against youtuber and actor Kamaal R. Khan, on Wednesday in an interim order restrained the latter from making defamatory posts on the actor while stating that every man is entitled to his good name.

“A person is identified by his name. His name may have no value to society, but would be precious to the person concerned,” the court said, adding that reputation is a personal right and injury to it, a personal injury. “A good reputation is an element of personal security and is protected by the constitution equally with the right to enjoyment of life, liberty and property,” the court stated. It added that speaking generally, every man is entitled to his good name and to the esteem in which he is held by others and has the right to claim that his reputation is not disparaged by defamatory statements. “Reputation and honour are no less precious to good men than bodily safety and freedom. In some cases it may be dearer than life itself,” the court said while observing that for peace and wellbeing of the civilized commonwealth, law should protect the reputation as well as the person of the citizen.

Judge CV Marathe of the city civil court said in his 12-page order that the defendant has failed to explain his defamatory statements and that he has exceeded the boundary of freedom of making comments on the film of the actor and has made prima facie libelous comments on the actor which are actionable. It said further that if he is allowed to continue the use of such defamatory words, it will cause irreparable loss to the image of plaintiff no. 1 (Salman Khan).

The court said that in various posts or videos uploaded by KRK he has not only commented on the performance of the actor in the film ‘Radhe’, but also made personal comments. It said the tweets or videos do not refer to the contents of the film and very clearly lower the plaintiff no. 1’s image in society by portraying him as a criminal, cheater and a person with no dignity. Further, that his comments on Khan’s trust ‘Being Human’ are on the basis of unfounded information, calling them libelous and actionable.

It however held that the comment of KRK calling the actor dadu/dada in connection with his playing the role of a young man in a film, cannot be held defamatory as they are covered under the defence of ‘fair comment’.

Salman Khan’s advocate Pradeep Gandhy had argued that while KRK can comment on Salman’s films, the allegations he made are baseless and do not fall within the realm of fair comment. KRK’s advocate had argued that he has a right to free speech guaranteed by the constitution and the suit is an action for terrorizing people.

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