DR. Subramanian Swamy’s Response to T.R.Baalu’s Lawyer

published on December 10, 2007

To
Mr.R.S.Bhaarathi, B.A.B.L.,
Advocate
18, 29th St, Thillai Ganga Nagar,
Nanganallur,
Chennai 600061.

I am in receipt of your letter dated 7-12-2007 purporting to be a Notice for instituting action in criminal and civil courts for my allegedly published statements about the corrupt practices of Mr.T.R.Baalu presently a Union Minister.

Before I consider whether your letter is worthy of a reply, I am constrained to point out that your letter is vague, hence requires clarification and specific details for me to respond, if necessary.

In particular, kindly reproduce correctly the exact impugned portion of my allegedly actionable statement and the date of publication of the same and send it to me. You are also required therefore to send me a copy of the publication which you state is in Dinamani newspaper, enclosing with it an authorized English translation since your letter is in English.

I shall also be obliged if you kindly clarify whether you are stating in the said letter that it is false that Mr.Baalu’s son owns a company or that he was awarded a dredging contract in what you refer to as the Sethusamudra ‘Thittam’, or both.

Moreover under case law that has developed following judgments of Supreme Court of India, the House of Lords in UK, and the US Supreme Court, since Mr.Baalu is a public person, the onus shifts on him to first prove that my alleged actionable statement and allegedly published, is not only false but that I knew it to be false when I allegedly made the statement.

If you do not discharge this onus first, any complaint or suit for damages filed by you will not be maintainable. You may in this regard profitably refer to the criminal complaint of defamation filed by Mr.M.Karunanidhi as Chief Minister against me sometime in 1997 in a Chennai Sessions Court which was dismissed in 2005 at the threshold itself because of this failure to discharge onus. Similarly, as Chief Minister, Mr.Ramakrishna Hegde had filed in 1988 a suit for damages against me for alleged defamation, but withdrew the suit some years later, after I had argued in person before the City Civil Court, Bangalore that the onus was on him to first prove that my alleged defamatory statements were false. In this matter, to save time of the court in possible litigation threatened by you in your letter, in particular, he must send me by affidavit an averment with supporting materials to show that the alleged actionable statement that I had allegedly published is false and that I knew it to be false when making the impugned statement.

I am sure that Mr.Baalu will take due precautions under law not to enter into vexatious litigation and malicious prosecution.

Yours sincerely,
(SUBRAMANIAN SWAMY)

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