*Melepurath Sankunni Ezhuthassan v. Thekittil Geopalankutty Nair (1986) 1 SCC 118
Civil Appeal No. 91 of 1972 decided on 29/11/1985
Civil P.C. (5 of 1908) , O.22 R.1, O.22 R.11— Succession Act (39 of 1925) , S.306— Cause of action for defamation – Does not survive death of appellant. Section 306 speaks of an action and not of an appeal.
Reading S. 306 alongwith Rr. 1 and 11 of O.XXII of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, it is, however, clear that a cause of action for defamation does not survive the death of the appellant.(Para 6)
Where a suit for defamation is dismissed and the plaintiff has filed an appeal, what the appellant-plaintiff is seeking to enforce in the appeal is his right to sue for damages for defamation and as this right does not survive his death,his legal representative has no right to be brought on the record of the appeal in his place and stead if the appellant dies during the pendency of the appeal.The position, however, is different where a suit for defamation has resulted in a decree in favour of the plaintiff because in such a case the cause of action has merged in the decree and the decretal debt forms part of his estate and the appeal from the decree by the defendant becomes a question of benefit or detriment to the estate of the plaintiff-respondent which his legal representative is entitled to uphold and defend and is, therefore, entitled to be substituted in place of the deceased respondent-plaintiff.(Para 7)