Supreme Court: Considering the instant writ petition praying for the declaration of Sections 499 and 500 of IPC and Section 199(2) of CrPC as unconstitutional, the Division Bench of Dipak Misra and U.U. Lalit, JJ. issued a Stay Order on five defamation proceedings initiated against the petitioner in the Principle District and Sessions Court, Chennai. 

The instant writ petition arose in response to five defamation suits filed against the petitioner who is also a political bigwig after he allegedly posted some defamatory statements on a social networking site against the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Ms. Jayalalitha.

In the present case, the petitioner appearing in person, raised before the Court several issues pertaining to the impugned Sections for violating the Fundamental Right of Freedom of Speech and Expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) and the reasonable restriction enshrined under Article 19(2) of the Constitution. The petitioner seeking to examine the impugned sections contended that the Sections 499, 500 and 199(2) restrict the freedom of speech and expression beyond the reasonable limit prescribed under Article 19(2). The petitioner also put forth that in a democracy public opinion, public perception and public criticism form the basic pillars to keep a check on executive actions and collective interest is the dominant principle in a democratic polity. The petitioner also argued that the sanction provided under Section 199(2) CrPC confers unregulated power to curb the right of the citizens to criticize the executive actions. Subramanian Swamy v. Union of India 2014 SCC OnLine SC 867 


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