Gangubai Kathiawadi | Can an adoptive son file for defamation of deceased mother? Bom HC decodes

Bombay High Court: Nitin W. Sambre, J., expressed that,

“The law on the principle of Torts that an action dies with the person, in a defamation proceedings is required to be appreciated.”

Restraining the movie Gangubai Kathiawadi

Instant suit was initiated against the respondent/defendant seeking decree of permanent injunction restraining them from publishing, printing, advertising, selling, alienating, assigning and/or creating any third-party rights and/or holding any press meets, promoting the Novel namely “The Mafia Queens of Mumbai” and/or writing any other story of the life of mother of the plaintiff.

Defendants 5, 3 and 4 took out Notice of Motion under Order VII, Rule 11 Code of Civil Procedure after the respondents were served with suit summons. The said notice of motions were allowed. As a consequence, plaint came to be rejected. Hence the first appeal was filed.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court while expressing that the law on the principle of Torts that an action dies with the person, in a defamation proceeding is required to be appreciated, held that the contents of defamatory nature against so-called adoptive mother of appellant dies with her death.

Further, the Bench stated that appellant had to demonstrate that he was the adoptive son of deceased Gangubai Kathiawadi, which he prima facie failed to as he suffered a legal injury.

The said principle is based on the Supreme Court decision in Melapurath Sankunni Ezhuthassan v. Thekittil Geopalankutty Nair,  (1986) 1 SCC 118, and Bombay High Court decision in Luckumsey Rowji v. Hurbun Nursey, 1881 SCC Online Bom 39 was rightly considered by the City Civil Court while passing the order of rejection of plaint.

Merely because the appellant is claiming to be son of such person cannot be prima facie inferred to have the legal right to show indulgence.

In view of the above, temporary injunction was not granted.[Babuji Rawji Shah v. S. Hussain Zaidi, First Appeal (ST) No. 9761 of 2021, decided on 30-07-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Mr Narendra Dubey for Applicant in both IA.

Mr Madhu Gadodia and Sujoy Mukherji i/by Naik Naik & Co. for Respondent Nos. 1 and 2.

Mr Mayur Khandeparkar a/w Mr Parag Khandhar & Ms Prachi Garg, i/by DSK Legal for Respondent Nos. 3 to 5.

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