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Madras HC Dismisses Criminal Defamation Charges Against Rajinikanth

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The Madras High Court on Tuesday quashed the criminal defamation proceedings initiated against Rajinikanth by film financier S Mukunchand Bothra. This was based on the actor’s petition accusing the financier of trying to extort money from him.

According to a report, Justice N Anand Venkatesh had allowed this petition filed by Shivaji Rao Gaikwad alias Rajinikanth. It sought to call for the records pertaining to taking of cognizance of the private complaint lodged by S Mukunchand Bothra and quash the same.

Earlier financier Mukuchand Bothra had alleged that Kasturi Raja, the father-in-law of Rajinikanth’s daughter and father of actor Dhanush, had borrowed Rs 65 lakh from him with an assurance that if the money was not repaid by him, the actor would repay it.

The financier had filed a criminal defamation complaint in a magistrate court, saying the words used by Rajinikanth that the civil suit was only to extort money and malign his name was defamatory. The actor sought quashing of the criminal defamation proceedings.

During the hearing, Justice Anand Venkatesh told, “A reading of the entire affidavit shows that the petitioner wanted to establish the fact that the entire suit was intended to malign and defame the petitioner, who had no dealings whatsoever with Bothra at any time.”

“In a money dealing with Bothra, one Kasthuri Raja seems to have used the name of the petitioner for borrowing money from Bothra and that was the only cause of action for filing the suit by Bothra against the petitioner (Rajinikanth),” the judge added.

He also said that the entire case was a speculative one. The judge said, “This court is of the considered view that the averment made in the affidavit by the petitioner is not per se defamatory, and the same was made as a necessary averment in order to project the conduct/character of the respondent (Bothra).”

“The same has been sanctified by the final orders passed by this court. Therefore, the continuation of the criminal complaint against the petitioner will amount to an abuse of process of court, and the same requires the interference of this court.”

The court had earlier dismissed a civil suit filed by the financier against Rajinikanth with a cost of Rs 25,000, saying it was nothing but an abuse of the process of law to gain cheap publicity and keep a famous person on tenterhooks.

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