KRK cannot post against Salman Khan, Mumbai court passes interim order in defamation case

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In a follow-up to the defamation case filed by Salman Khan against Kamaal R Khan (KRK), the Mumbai city civil court has restrained KRK from posting or publishing any defamatory content about the Radhe actor, his business ventures and/or films. This is an interim order that has been passed by the court after hearing the civil suit filed by Salman and will continue until the court passes judgement in the case.

Earlier, Salman Khan had filed a defamation suit against KRK, where a notice was sent to the self-proclaimed movie critic by Salman’s legal team. KRK had shared the news on Twitter in May 2021.

COURT RESTRAINS KRK FROM POSTING ABOUT SALMAN KHAN
The restraining order was passed by Additional Sessions Judge C V Marathe in the notice of motion filed by Salman Khan in his defamation suit. While allowing the interim relief, the Sessions judge observed that reputation is “not only a salt of life but the purest treasure and the most precious perfume of life”. Judge Marathe added that “a good name is better than riches. Reputation is a sort of right to enjoy the good opinion of others and it is a personal right and an injury to the reputation is personal injury. A good reputation is an element of personal security and is protected by the Constitution equally with the right to the enjoyment of life”. In the 13-page order, the judge further opined, “Reputation and honour are no less precious to good men than bodily safety and freedom. In some cases, they may be dearer than life itself.”

ARGUMENTS MADE IN THE COURT
Advocate Pradeep Gandhi appearing for Salman Khan alleged that Kamaal R Khan was a habitual offender who had misused social media platforms to defame, malign and propagate defamatory content. Gandhi pointed to various videos posted by Kamlaal against Salman, his family members, their films and business associations for quite some time and said that there was no reason to do so.

Gandhi had further argued that while there is no restriction to comment on a film and the performances in the film, the personal allegations levelled against Salman Khan did not fall “within the realm of fair comment”.

Advocate Manoj Gadkari, appearing for Kamaal R Khan, vehemently opposed these arguments. Gadkari said that Salman is a public figure and so he should be open to criticism. According to Gadkari, Kamlaal had “merely expressed his opinion about Radhe”. He added that comments by Kamaal were part of fair criticism and if they are read in the context in which they were used, such comments do not lower the image of Salman in the society. He added that Kamaal had a right to freedom of speech guaranteed under the Indian Constitution and that Salman’s suit is nothing but an action to terrorize people.

THE COURT CONCLUDED
After hearing arguments from both sides, the judge concluded that the tweets or videos do not refer to the content of the film and “very clearly lower down Salman Khan’s image in the society” portraying him as a “criminal, cheater and person with no dignity”. The court also stated that Kamaal had failed to explain his defamatory statements and if the use of such words is permitted to be continued, then it will cause irreparable loss to Salman’s image. Thus, the judge concluded that Salman had come up with a case that pointed out the damage suffered to his reputation due to the publication of the tweets and hence, relief at the interlocutory stage can be granted.

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