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The Managing Director vs Mrs.V.Muthulakshmi on 26 October, 2007
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13. Even though I am aware that any detailed observation about the merit of the case will affect the parties since the suit is still pending, it is necessary for me to deal with some of the aspects which are argued by both the counsel.

14. Both the learned senior counsel for the petitioner as well as the learned counsel for the respondent have relied upon the Judgment of the Supreme Court in R.RAJAGOPAL alias R.R.Gopal and another vs. State of T.N. and others reported in (1994) 6 Supreme Court Cases 632. That was a case relating to one Auto Shankar, who was convicted for six murders and was sentenced to death, who had written autobiography in jail and handed over the same to his wife for being delivered to his advocate with a request to publish the same in the petitioner's magazine. When the said Autobiography was sought to be published, the issue arose as to whether a citizen of this country can prevent any person from writing his story or biography? and whether such unauthorised writing infringe the citizen's right to privacy? And also the issue arose in that case about the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India.

16. While concluding the said Judgment, the Supreme Court has held as follows:

"Applying the above principles, it must be held that the petitioners have a right to publish, what they allege to be the life story/autobiography of Auto Shankar insofar as it appears from the public records, even without his consent or authorisation. But, if they go beyond that and publish his life story, they may be invading his right to privacy and will be liable for the consequences in accordance with law. Similarly, the State or its officials cannot prevent or restrain the said publication".