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Gav Developers Pvt. Ltd. Vs. The Publishers Dainik Jagran and Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:809) - (High Court of Delhi) (05 Feb 2024)

In case of defamation, it is not the publication itself but the communication of the alleged libelous material is relevant



The Appellant is aggrieved by the impugned order vide which the Trial Court rejected of the plaint of the Appellant. The Learned Trial Court further held that, the Court in Dehradun has the territorial jurisdiction to entertain the civil suit filed by the Appellant herein and the same be filed there.

The Learned Counsel for the Appellant submitted that, the Learned Trial Court erred in holding contrary to the provisions of Section 19 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) in not appreciating that, the plaint has to be read in totality in order to ascertain the real nature and character of the plaint, same is specifically averred in paragraph to submit that the impugned publication is also available to public at large through print-media and e-paper on the internet, hence it is within the jurisdiction of the court in Delhi since the cause of action has also arisen in this territorial jurisdiction.

The scope of enquiry under Order VII Rule 10 of CPC is to be seen only from the averments made in the Plaint and the documents filed therewith.

It is manifest that in case of defamation, it is not the publication itself but the communication of the alleged libelous material is relevant. If the newspaper, has circulated at Delhi, then it cannot be said that the wrong would not be done to the appellant at Delhi and thus, the Court at Delhi would have jurisdiction under Section 19 of the CPC. The appellant could file suit for defamation against the newspaper either in Delhi where the publication has been circulated or the place where the newspaper is published or respondent resides or works for gain.

As is apparent from the pleadings made out in the plaint, it is clear that according to the Appellant, the alleged libelous article is published in Dehradun edition, there is nothing pleaded in the Plaint as to when and how Dehradun edition has circulation in Delhi. There is not even a single averment in the Plaint that the Appellant has either bought or someone has bought this Dehradun edition in Delhi. Similarly, there is no averment in the Plaint nor any document placed on record that the Dehradun edition is available in e-paper and that the appellant had read and taken a printout in Delhi. The document being the newspaper item is in Dehradun edition having circulation in Dehradun, the Respondents' work for gain in Dehradun, the legal notice issued by the Appellant addressed to the respondents was at Dehradun.

Thus, the Plaint is silent on that the wrong is done within the territorial jurisdiction of Shahdara District in Delhi, so as to give right to the Appellant to choose the jurisdiction of the Courts at Shahdara District to file the Suit. No infirmity is found in the impugned order. Appeal dismissed.


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