SUIT NO.1211 of 1996

Plaintiff                 :        In person


Defendant No.4.  :        Professor Dr. Abdul Wahab,

                                         Through Mr. Khuwaja Naveed Ahmed, Advocate


Date of hearing:                     18.02.2016


Date of Judgment:                   18.05.2016.







Salahuddin Panhwar, J: Succinctly, facts as set out in the plaint are that plaintiff filed a suit for Damages to the tune of Rs.50 Millions with prayer that:

“…..for a Judgment and decree against the defendants jointly and severely and decree in the sum of Rs.50 million as this Honourable court may deem fit in the circumstances of the case including an order of restrain prohibiting the defendants from repeating their similar actions amounting to defamation of the plaintiff in any manner whatever and also grant of costs.”


Said relief has been prayed while pleading that plaintiff is a respectable educated citizen; completed MBA and was awarded Gold Medal; conducted research as Ph D student; served Army for 27 years and retired as Lieutenant Colonel when he was holding office of the ‘Secretary and Member of Army Finance & Economic Planning Board. He asserted that he had been on lecturing at different reputable institutions and was appointed as Registrar of University of Karachi (BPS-20) and is also visiting professor to Hamdard Institute of Management Sciences (HIMS). He claimed that a campaign of defaming him was started wherein defendant no.4 played leading role while using name, authority and services of defendant nos.1, 2,3 and 5. The defendant no.4 was claimed to become further hostile to plaintiff because of latter’s opposition to proposals, functioning and maneuvering of defendant no.4 of affairs of defendant no.1 particularly the matters relating to financial transactions. Plaintiff further asserted that defendant No.4 through one Ardeshir Cowasjee , got a defamatory article published against plaintiff for which plaintiff filed suit No.100 of 1996. Per plaintiff, defendant No.4 did not suspend his libelous activities against plaintiff and pursued his campaign and took or caused to be taken following action, lowering estimation of plaintiff among his well wishers, friends e.t.c:-

a) an invitation extended for foundation stone Laying ceremony for international Centre for Chemical Science, was caused to be withdrawn by a letter written and signed by defendant No.5. A photostate copy of the invitation letter and a photo stat copy of withdrawal of invitation by letter dated 25th November 1995 under the signature of defendant No.5 are filed herewith and marked as Annexure A & B. The said defendant flouted even the order of this Hon’ble Court passed on 5-11-1995 in Cr. Misc. Appln. No.23/95 whereby F.I.R. the basis of cancellation of withdrawal of invitation already stood cancelled / terminated. A copy whereof is filed herewith and marked as Annexure ‘C’.


b) That a public notice was published in the Daily ‘DAWN’ of July 20, 1996 on behalf of defendant no.3 the office which was then occupied by defendant no.5 again containing the insinuation and defamatory allegations against the plaintiff by defendants No.6 to 8 without verification of the fact. Photostat copy of the said advertisement is filed herewith and marked as Annexure ‘D”


c) That another story/news was got published by defendant No.4 in ‘Daily News’ issue of November 13, 1996 whose publisher, printer, editor and reporter containing defamatory and false allegations against the plaintiff attributing theft to the plaintiff and asserting the lodging of FIR with was already cancelled by police photostate copy of the ‘DAILY NEWS’ dated 13th November 1996 is filed herewith and marked as Annexure E.


Plaintiff claimed to have suffered seriously in goodwill among his relations, friends, students, academicians, well wishers, colleagues, contemporaries, potential employers and general public because of the actions of the defendants therefore claimed Rs.50 millions from all defendants jointly and severely.  

2.                     After service, the defendant Nos.1 & 2 filed written statement; defendant Nos.6, 7 and 8 filed their written statement so also defendant Nos.9, 10 and 11 while defendant Nos.3 and 5 did not hence were debarred.

                        Out of the pleadings of the parties, following issues were framed:-

i)                    Whether plaintiff has any cause of action against the defendants?

ii)                  Whether the publications of notices impugned in the suit are malafides or they were in the interest of the institution for public good?

iii)                Whether the plaintiff has been defamed by the University?

iv)                Whether the plaintiff is entitled compensations. If so, what extent?

v)                  Whether the impugned news item (Annex. E) to the plaint dated 13.11.1996 was printed and published by the defendant no.9 to 11 in their evening newspaper ‘Daily News’ Karachi on the basis of press release dated 12.11.1996 sent by institute of Business Administration?

vi)                Whether the said news item was printed and published by the defendant No.9 to11 in their newspaper in the public interest without any malicious intention or ulterior motives involved against the plaintiff?

vii)              What should the decree be?


3.                     In order to prove their respective stands / claims on the above issue, the plaintiff; defendant No.1 and defendant Nos.9, 10 and 11 filed their respective affidavits in evidence. Deposition of plaintiff was recorded; was cross-examined and side was closed and then evidence of defendant No.1 and that of defendant Nos.9 to 11 were recorded; all were cross examined and side was closed.

4.                     Plaintiff, present in person, argued that most of his assertions / claims went unchallenged hence to such extent his (plaintiff’s) claim stood admitted; letter dated November 1995 addressed to plaintiff was defamatory hence cause of action accrued; on November 13, 1996 defendant No.9,10 and 11 originated printed and published libelous news in ‘DAILY NEWS’ whereby defaming plaintiff; hence suit was rightly filed; he claimed the publication of notice as not in public interest and no plea of justification is available with defendants; plaintiff was defamed hence plaintiff is entitled for compensation as claimed.

5.                     On the other hand, the learned counsel for the defendant No.4 argued that the suit of the plaintiff is not maintainable as no genuine cause of action has accrued to him; he argued that burden squarely falls upon the plaintiff to prove malice and sustaining of loss in result thereof wherein the plaintiff failed as he examined none to establish sustaining of any harm / injury. The publication of a ‘public notice’ cannot be made a base as malafide unless it is shown that it was motivated with an object to defame one rather putting public on notice. He added that suit of the plaintiff filed on similar facts was also dismissed hence the suit is also liable to be dismissed.


6.                     I have heard the respective parties; have perused the material carefully. My findings on the issues with reasons are as under:-



            Issue No.1                 As discussed.

            Issue No.2                 As discussed.

            Issue No.3                 Affirmative.

            Issue No.4                 As discussed

            Issue No.5                 Affirmative.

Issue No.6                 Affirmative.

Issue no.7.                 Suit is decreed partly.


ISSUE NOS.1 & 2:

Whether the plaintiff has any cause of action against the defendants?

‘Whether the publications of notices impugned in the suit are malafides or they were in the interest of the institution for public good?’


7.                     The burden to prove the issue was upon the plaintiff. It shall not require much debate that a ‘public notice’ is different from a ‘news’ or a ‘story’, flashed in the Newspaper. The ‘public notice’ is an information got flashed in a news paper to put people onto notice about the matter with which they may likely be affected or may have interest. The term public notice’ per Black’s law Dictionary means:

‘Notice given to the people affected, usu. by publishing in a newspaper of general circulation. This notice is usu. required, for example, in matters of public concern.


The above term is clear that though it (public notice) is got flashed in a Newspaper yet it is always based on request of some specific person hence normally no responsibility is attached to the newspaper except that ‘newspaper’ shall always keep the line of decency in view even while flashing the ‘public notice(s)’ even because the phrase ‘freedom of press’ is not a synonym to ‘unfettered powers to publish whatever one (publisher) wishes’. A reference can well be made to the case of Liberty Papers Ltd. & others v. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (PLD 2015 SC 42) wherein it is held that:

‘12. It is true that media as a whole is playing a vital role in reshaping our political and social life, creating awareness amongst the masses about their rights and responsibilities as well as against corruption. While performing such noble duties, the medial is equally required like any other citizen to abide by the provisions of the Constitution, the code of ethics, the rules and regulations and not to resort to mud-slinging by violating standards of true professional ethics as irresponsible and derogatory reporting of news would diminish its own credibility in the eyes of the readers and viewers.’


                        The above definition leaves nothing to dive any further that in ‘public notice’ normally following facts shall not be under any dispute:

i)                   an information, provided by a ‘person’ to a news paper;


            ii)        flashing of same in a newspaper


hence question in a matter of ‘public notice’ , claimed as libel only thing required to be proved would be that it was either malafide or was got to defame without any intention to inform public.

9.                     To prove these issues the plaintiff was required to prove the public notice to be mala-fide. Before going any further let’s have a direct reference to document itself (public notice) which reads as:

‘The public is informed that Plot No.ST-24 Block No.2, Scheme No.36 belongs to the University of Karachi. The Karachi Development Authority has absolutely no power to allot he University land to SAARC Health Care foundation or any other individual / organization.


The residents of Karachi and the well wishers of the University of Karachi will be shocked to know that according to the claim of the trustee of SAARC Health care Foundation plot No.ST-24, Block No.2, Scheme No.36, measuring 1404, 44 sq.yards in corner plot has been allotted by the K.D.A. at the rate of Rs.200 /- (Rupees two hundred only)per sq.yards, for a commercial hospital. Every one knows that the price of this plot is not less than Rs.15000 per sq. yard. The total value of this plot according to the claim of SAARC Health Care foundation is Rs.280,888/- . The use of the SAARC has nothing to do with the association of South Asian Countries.


It is also very interesting to note that the said plot according to the claim of the trustee of SAARC health Care Centre was allotted on June 15, 1994, when Mohammad Wali Khan (Durrani) was the Registrar of the University of Karachi. It should also be remembered that 34 acres of the University of Karachi land was allotted at Rs.15000/- per acre in the same period. This plot was later on cancelled on the directive of Prima Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.


The University of Karachi authorities want to make it public that no illegal allotment will be accepted and no encroachment shall be permitted at any cost. The authorities also want to communicate to everyone that every inch of the University of Karachi land shall be protected. The K.D.A is requested to cancel the said allotment through a public notice.              

The above notice prima facie has a reason of its ‘publication’ i.e claim of the trustee of SAARC against the land of Karachi University and was prima facie appearing to put public onto notice about claims of the University and its intended action to protect every inch of its property hence to such extent public notice was within its object and purpose. However, the deliberate use of the name of the plaintiff in ‘public notice’ after date of allotment of lands to SAARC as:

the trustee of SAARC health Care Centre was allotted on June 15, 1994, when Mohammad Wali Khan (Durrani) was the Registrar of the University of Karachi.


Prima facie seems to allow general public (reader of the public notice) to have a ‘wrong’ impression about the plaintiff that ‘allotment of lands of University, being illegal, was done by the plaintiff’. The plaintiff had claimed it (public notice) to be malafide and factums of :

i)                    public notice, got flashed by University;

ii)                  its publication in a Newspaper of good circulation;



are not disputed hence it was obligatory upon the University to have established its bonafide couple with legal justification for giving ‘name of the plaintiff specifically in a public notice which was meant to put public on notice that allotments were illegal and against through away rates particularly when the duties of Registrar was never claimed to be ‘included’ power to make allotment, as it shall stand clear from the answer of the plaintiff to a question, specifically addressing duties as ‘Registrar’ which is:

‘Q. What were your duties as Registrar?

‘Ans. Personal management, academic administration, issuing notifications and orders on behalf of statutory bodies and university authorities. However, I had no concern with the management or custody of finances property and university’s assets.’


At this juncture, I would refer relevant portion of the judgment from the case of Liberty Papers supra, wherein it was held that:

‘9. The defendant / appellants in a case of defamation for damages, as the publisher of defamatory material, needs to prove through evidence besides pleading good faith that they were diligent in checking facts and followed the best practices of professional ethics universally accepted.


The above principle shall equally apply even in matter of ‘public notice’ against initiator thereof. I shall add that mere claim of bonafide or to have acted in interest of the University shall not absolve the defendant nos.1 to 3 (University) from establishing bona-fide. I would further add that an illegal allotment, if any, shall not stand protected with mentioning the name of a ‘person’ nor there appears any reason that public was interested in knowing the name of Registrar during his posting such allotment, if any, was made. To establish bonafide it was obligatory upon the University to have least proved that ‘specific mentioning of the name of the plaintiff’ in a public notice regarding illegal act (allotment) was bonafide and in the ‘public interest’ but the University prima facie brought nothing on record to substantiate the same. Since, the dignity of a man is otherwise guaranteed by the Constitution itself hence every body, regardless of its status and position, has to show due respect to the dignity of a man while using words either in speaking or in writing which has been insisted by honourable Supreme Court in the above referred case of Liberty Papers as:

‘10. Under the provisions of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, reputation of a person has received the highest protection in Article 4(2)(a). Further under Article 14 the dignity of man and, subject to law, the privacy of home, shall be inviolable right of each and every citizen. The defamation of any person or citizen through spoken or written words or any other means of communication lowers the dignity of a man fully guaranteed by the Constitution, thus, not only is it the constitutional obligation of the State but all the citizens and persons living within the State of Pakistan to respect and show regard to dignity of every person and citizen of Pakistan otherwise if anyone commits an act of malice by defaming any person, would be guilty under the Constitution and would cross the red line of prohibition imposed by the Constitution, attracting serious penal consequences under the law and the person violating the same has to be dealt with under the law.



Thus, even a claim of a person in acting bonafide in matters of ‘public notice’ shall not give him a license to couch such ‘public notice’ in a manner and fashion which may or likely to result in crossing the limits, required rather insisted by ethical value, decency and other laws of the land.


10.                   Since, prima facie the University (defendant nos.1 to 3) failed in substantiating the bonafide or justifying the reason for mentioning the name of plaintiff in public notice, in question, in interest of University. In absence thereof, the answer to the issue No.2 could be nothing but that public notice to extent of mentioning of name of plaintiff was not in public interest rather was causeless resulting into causing claimed damage to reputation of the plaintiff.  Accordingly both issues decided accordingly.



 Whether the plaintiff has been defamed by the University?


11.                   The discussion, in respect of the issue No.2, supra and conclusion thereof leaves nothing to go into any further debate. I may add that once it is established that a ‘public notice’, contained an allegation direct or even indirect, causing prejudice or harm to one shall be taken that maker of such ‘public notice’ defamed such person particularly when such person (affected) claims to have been defamed in result of such public notice. Accordingly, answer to this issue is ‘affirmative’.



‘Whether the plaintiff is entitled compensations. If so, what extent?

12.                   At the very outset, I would say that one (plaintiff) on establishing defamation only becomes entitled to compensation but quantum thereof is an entirely different thing which has got its own peculiar requirements / ingredients and mere claim of certain amount as a damages shall not earn him a right to insist decree to such extent. At this point, reference to the case of Malik Gul Muhammad Awan v. Federation of Pakistan (2013 SCMR 507), being relevant is made hereunder:-


… However, awarding of damages is discretionary and the said discretion has to be exercised in the light of the evidence led qua the extent of damages suffered by a party. Petitioner claimed damages to the tune of Rs.81.82 Million but it has been concurrently been found that petitioner failed to substantiate the claim to the said extent by cogent evidence. In these circumstances, a duty is cast on the court. In Sufi Muhammad Ishaque v. The Metropolitan Corportion, Lahore through Mayor (PLD 1996 SC 737), it was held as under:-


Once it is determined that a person who suffers mental shock and injury is entitled to compensation on the principles stated above, the difficult question arises what should be the amount of damages for such loss caused by wrongful act of a party. There can be no yardstick or definite principle for assessing damages in such cases. The damages are meant to compensate a party who suffers an injury. It may be bodily injury loss of reputation, business and also mental shock and suffering. So far nervous shock is concerned, it depends upon the evidence produced to prove the nature, extent and magnitude of such suffering, but even on that basis usually it becomes difficult to assess a fair compensation and in those circumstances it is the discretion of the Judge who may, on facts of the case and considering how far the society would deem it to be a fair sum, determines the damage. The conscience of the Court should be satisfied that the damages awarded would, if not completely, satisfactorily compensate the aggrieved party.


4. It is now a well established principle that the person claiming special damages has to prove each item of loss with reference to evidence brought on record and for general damages as claimed by the petitioner relating to mental torture, agony, defamation and financial loss, those are to be assessed following the Rule of Thumb and the said exercise falls in the discretionary jurisdiction of the court which has to decide it in the facts and circumstances of each case.



In view of the above guide-line, if the evidence of the plaintiff is examined it shall make it clear that plaintiff never attempted to differentiate damages with regard to mental torture, agony, defamation and financial loss but had claimed damages to tune of Rs.50 millions against all the defendants in respect of three independent and distinct issues:

i)                    letter of cancellation of invitation of plaintiff in stone laying ceremony;

ii)                  public notice;

iii)                news, flashed in daily News in its issue dated November 13, 1996;


Which itself is significant that plaintiff was never sure about quantum of suffering in result of each claimed item. At this juncture, it would be relevant that to refer admission of the plaintiff in cross-examination regarding quantum of damages i.e :

‘It is correct that I have not quantified the damages specifically either in my plaint or in Affidavit-in-Evidence. Voluntarily says that I am claiming damages for loss of my reputation which I had suffered on account of my illegal termination and malicious campaign initiated against me in print media.


Worth to add here that illegal termination was not made base for claiming damages in the lis but malicious campaign in the print media. However, the plaintiff examined no body to establish as to what extent the public notice resulted in causing harm, mental torture, agony, defamation and financial loss. Worth to add here that plaintiff in his pleading had not claimed mental shock and ailment in result of public notice hence production of medical reports are of no value, particularly when plaintiff himself admitted in cross-examination that:

 ‘I cannot say whether the public notice PW 1/15 contributed or caused any ailment.’


It is also a matter of record that after an end to services of the plaintiff with the defendant no.1, he (plaintiff) got services in Hamdard University as is evident from the admission of the plaintiff himself made in his cross examination i.e:

It is correct to suggest that in the year 1997 I got job in Hamdard University as Professor. It is incorrect to suggest that no damage was caused to my reputation for the reasons that I have subsequently got employment in other institutions..’


In absence of any proof of mental shock and bifurcation of claimed damages for each items , claimed to have caused damages, I find it proper and justified to award an amount of Rs.800,000/- (Eight lacs) to the plaintiff in result causeless inclusion of his (plaintiff’s) name in the public notice which directly and indirectly was likely to cause defamation. Issue is decided, accordingly.



‘Whether the impugned news item (Annex. E) to the plaint dated 13.11.1996 was printed and published by the defendant no.9 to 11 in their evening newspaper ‘Daily News’ Karachi on the basis of press release dated 12.11.1996 sent by institute of Business Administration?’


13.                   The above issue would require no much debate or discussion particularly in view of the admission of the plaintiff himself, made during his cross examination which is:

‘It is correct to suggest that this suit was filed by me after news item had appeared in daily ‘NEWS’ dated 13.11.1996. I have gone through this news item. Initially I read this news paper and I was not aware as to whether it is news item or a press release. Subsequently I learnt that it was press release issued by the Institute of Business Administration when they filed their counter affidavit.


In existence of such categorical statement of the plaintiff himself the claim of the defendant Nos.9 to 11 that it (news) was based on press-release. Accordingly, this issue is answered in ‘affirmative’.



14.                   In the matter of publication of public notice and press release , as already discussed, normally the malafide cannot be attached to the publisher unless it is established and proved that while allowing the publication thereof (public notice / press release) , the publisher either allowed indecent words, though contained in such public notice or press-release or deliberately added such indecent words as a publisher may make necessary amendments in its publication because he (publisher) also continues with an obligation to ensure guaranteed protection towards ‘dignity’. Reference is made to the case of Muhammad Rashid v. Majid Nizam (PLD 2002 SC 514), wherein it is held:


‘7.        In the wrong of defamation the law presumes malice in the sense of wrongful act done intentionally by publishing defamatory matter but there a lawful excuse for the publication of such matters as in the ordinary case of privileged communication or of fair comments upon a matter of public interest, the onus is upon the plaintiff to establish the fact of malice in order to maintain the action. It means that malice must be proved as a fact irrespective of the mere inference arising from the libelous character of the publication. The state of mind of the publisher who publishes defamatory matter, is , therefore, material , where occasion is privileged or a plea of fair comments on a matter of public interest is properly raised, in that case the plaintiff has to prove actual malice in ordinary meaning of the words, that is to say, spite or il-will or any indirect or improper motive. When the plaintiff fails to prove malice by cogent evidence then he can be non-suited on this ground. The burden of proving express malice both by extrinsic and intrinsic evidence lies on the plaintiff to show that the publications were actuated by some indirect or improper motive.


            Having said so, let’s have a direct reference to press release (Ex.D-2/2) which is:

“Prof. Dr. Abdul Wahab, the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Karachi in a simple ceremony held at the Institute of Business Administration at1.00 p.m handed over to Dr. Hafiz Pasha, Vice Chancellor University of Karachi, the two survey maps of the entire land of the University of Karachi.


Each survey map consisted of six sheets. The maps were prepared by the Surveyor General of Pakistan in 1955 and 1967-68.

In 1980 when the University of Karachi land located on Abul Hasan Isfhani Road was encroached by Bhayani Builders in connivance with some top University official these maps were recovered from the University of Karachi records. Since then no record of the University maps was available any where. Consequently, no one knew the location of the University of Karachi land.

The result of the removal was that the University of Karachi land located along Abdul Hassan Isfahani Road was allotted to various parties at the unbelievable price of Rs.15000 per acre. Moreover, 22 acres of the University land located along with the University Road was allotted by KDA to various builders and individual at a price of Rs.200 to Rs.300 per square Yard.

“On July 6,1994 when Dr. Abdul Wahab became the Vice Chancellor of the University, he tried to locate the maps and documents of the University of Karachi lands. Nobody knew anything about the survey maps. The documents of land were taken away by the Col. Wali Durrani. An FIR was filed against him.


One day when Dr. Abdul Wahab went to visit Department of Geology, he saw maps room very dirty. He instructed that the room be cleaned. The officer incharge found a 1954 survey map of the University land. This helped in obtaining another map of 19---68 after an effort of six months.


The university of Karachi authorities demarcated the 22 acres of University land which was included in the Gulistan-e-Jauhar Scheme of KDA. Moreover , a boundary wall measuring 2.8 Km was constructed on the south eastern border of the University land.


Dr. Abdul Wahab explained to Dr. hafiz Pasha that during his tenure the High Court of Sindh has given verdict in favour of the University of Karachi regarding a S.B plot of land measuring 400 square yards located in Gulistan-e-Jauhar on the main University Road. On the same basis other allotments may be cancelled if a comprehensive suit is failed.


Dr. Wahab also informed Dr. Hafiz Pasha that justice (retired) Aslam Arain in his report intentionally or through typing error has shown only 2 acres of land belonging to the University of Karachi in survey no.28 while the actual area of University is 22 acres. Dr.Wahab told him that he had immediately informed the concerned authorities soon after the receipt of the report. But no action has been taken so far to correct the error. Moreover, the recommendations of the Aslam Arain report to cancel the unlawful allotments and to punish the government officials have not been implemented so far.


The above press release shall show that it contained only following statement relating to the plaintiff i.e:

‘The documents of land were taken away by the Col. Wali Durrani. An FIR was filed against him.'


Without any change or modification were published in daily News in its issue November 13, 1996. The perusal of the above would speak that none of the above words have any indecency in its wording. It is not the statement of the publisher (Daily News) but an unchanged piece of the press release therefore, I have no hesitation in saying that publisher (daily News) cannot be held responsible for any loss (defamation), if any, particularly when there has been pleaded no malafide on part of the publisher (daily News) as is evident from admission of the plaintiff made in his own cross examination i.e:-

No legal notice was given by me to daily ‘NEWS’ before filing of this suit. No corrigendum to the press release / news item was either issued or published in the newspaper. I do not recall that this newspaper has been published any news against me in its previous publication. I do not know nor I have any relation with the Editors of this newspaper. I cannot make any comments as to whether publication in daily ‘NEWS’ OF 13.11.1998  was based on the newspaper’ own malafide or that it was only a publication of a press release / news item contained allegations against me, …’


The press release, based of the news in daily NEWS was result of a press-release, issued by the Institute of Business Administration. At this point it is material to refer some other admissions made by the plaintiff himself which shall make the bonafide of the publisher (daily News) clear which are:

The institute of Business Administration has nothing to do with the Karachi University and the Vice Chancellor of the Karachi University namely Dr. Abdul Hafeez Pasha has no concern with the IBA and he could not have issued anything in writing about me. …... I do not know whether this news item was published in good faith.


From the above, it is quite evident that the press –release was issued by the IBA which admittedly got nothing to do with the University but was an independent institution hence the grievance, if any, should have been against it (Institute of Business Administration) but it was not made a party nor the plaintiff at later stage sought joining of it in the suit. This means that plaintiff himself left the initiator of the news, got flashed by such initiator (IBA) in daily ‘NEWS’ hence claim of the plaintiff against the daily ‘NEWS’ is not legally justified particularly when plaintiff himself admitted in his cross examination that:

It correct to suggest that IBA is a credible institution.

hence, by no stretch of imagination the defendants (daily News) can be held responsible for any defamation / wrong when prima facie:

i)                    the initiator (IBA) is a credible institution;

ii)                  the publisher (daily News) caused no change / amendment in statement, contained in press-release regarding plaintiff;


iii)                the publisher (daily News) had never published any defamatory statement against plaintiff in past nor it is claim of the plaintiff that publisher (daily News) had any grievance towards plaintiff;


iv)                the initiator (IBA) has not been sued for defamatory statement, contained in press release;


Reference to such conclusion, can well be made to the case of Muhammad Rashid supra, wherein it was held that:



‘8.        The suit was brought on the basis of the statements made by Mr. Naveed Malik which were published in the details of the respondents……… In such circumstances it was necessary that Mr. Naveed Malik should have been arrayed as a party as the cause of action arose from the publication of his statements. The exoneration of Mr. Naveed Malik by the plaintiff suggests that he let free his political rival but targeted the respondents who published the statements in good faith and in public interest. The respondents had given ample opportunities to the plaintiff to rebut or contradict the allegations but that offer was not accepted by the plaintiff.


(Emphasis supplied)


Not only this, but the plaintiff was never sure in his allegation that there had been any active malafide on part of the publisher (daily News), as it evident from admission of the plaintiff, made in his cross examination that:

‘I do not know whether this news item was published in good faith.’


At this point, it is worth to add that even an admission of the publisher that news had caused any defamation shall not entitle the plaintiff for a relief against publisher unless it is established that it was having any malice on part of the publisher or that publisher added or substituted any ‘indecent’ word in press-release, provided by a credible institution (person).

            In view of above discussion, the answer to this issue is in affirmative.



15.                   In result of the discussion, made on issue Nos.1 to 6, the suit of the plaintiff is decreed only against the defendant Nos.1 to 3 and he (plaintiff) is awarded damages to tune of Rs.800,000/- (Rupees Eight Hundred Thousand only) in result of public notice, got flashed by the defendant Nos.1 to 3 in daily ‘DAWN’ of July 20, 1996 while suit against rest of the defendants is dismissed. Parties, however, shall bear their own costs.

                                                                                                               J U D G E