Online Defamation: The need for proper evidence

Nagandran Kalianna Gaundar (berniaga dibawah RAJU RESTOREN) v.Melinda Alison Monteiro & Ors

GUAMAN NO: S4-23-42-2003

In this case, the Plaintiff sued the Defendants for an email containing defamatory statements allegedly sent out by the 1st Defendant and published to third parties. It was disputed that the e mail was sent out by 1st Defendant and was published to the third person.

The Plaintiff testified that the email was received by a customer of his restaurant and downloaded and photostatted by the customer to be given to the Plaintiff. However, the said customer was not called as a witness. The Court held that the failure to call the customer is fatal to the Plaintiff’s case.

The Plaintiff does not have personal knowledge regarding the transactions of the said email. Thus, the evidence of the customer is the most important being the backbone of the Plaintiff’s case. There was no evidence adduced that an attempt had been made to locate the customer.

As the customer is not available to give evidence, the Court disregard the email as well as the oral evidence by the Plaintiff relating to the same.

Furthermore, the email did not contain any information who was the sender. The only information stated in the e mail is the identity of the recipients and that it was forwarded by one Joanne Oh on 5.11.2001. In the absence of any marks on the e mail to identify its sender, it was therefore critical for the Plaintiff to prove that the 1st Defendant did in fact send the e mail.

The court holds that the Plaintiff has failed to establish his claim against both Defendants and therefore the Plaintiff’s claim is dismissed with costs.

Download: Judgement


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