Court grants exemption to Rahul Gandhi from appearance in ‘Modi surname’ Defamation Case

The Court posted the matter for further hearing on Oct 10.

The Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate B H Kapadia last week had issued summons to Gandhi after finding that there was prima facie a case of criminal defamation against him under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

When the case came up for hearing on Tuesday, Gandhi’s lawyer Kirit Panwala moved the exemption application, saying his client received summons only a few days back and it was difficult for him to appear personally at such a short notice owing to his prior commitments.

The Court then granted Gandhi exemption from personal appearance and kept the next hearing on Oct 10.

The Court earlier issued summons to Gandhi on a complaint filed on April 16 by BJP MLA Purnesh Modi under IPC Sections 499 and 500 that deal with criminal defamation.

In his complaint, the MLA from Surat-West seat claimed Gandhi was defaming the entire Modi community by his remark that “how come all thieves have Modi as common surname”.

The MLA was referring to an election rally at Kolar in Karnataka on April 13, where Gandhi asked, “Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi…how come they all have Modi as common surname? How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?”Last week, Gandhi appeared before an Ahmedabad court on summons issued in another criminal defamation case filed by the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank and its chairman Ajay Patel over the Congress leader’s tweet allegedly defaming the bank.

In yet another case of criminal defamation case in Ahmedabad, a metropolitan court last week reissued summons to Gandhi for calling Union minister Amit Shah a “murder accused”.

Delhi HC exempts Kejriwal from personal appearance in defamation

Delhi HC exempts Kejriwal from personal appearance in defamation
Delhi HC exempts Kejriwal from personal appearance in defamation

The Delhi High Court today exempted Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from personal appearance before a trial court on December 11 in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Rajya Sabha MP Subhash Chandra.

A bench of Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal also issued notice to Delhi Police and Chandra seeking their response on the chief minister’s plea to quash the complaint filed by the BJP leader.

The court, which was not inclined to stay the proceedings before the trial court, however, exempted Kejriwal’s personal appearance and listed the matter for further hearing on January 22.

Kejriwal has sought stay on the summons issued to him by the trial court on March 4.

Chandra, had on November 17, last year, sought prosecution of the Delhi chief minister for allegedly defaming him by levelling false allegations in the wake of demonetisation.

( Source – PTI )

Gujarat HC reserves order on The Wire plea against lower court gag

Gujarat HC reserves order on The Wire plea against lower court gag
Gujarat HC reserves order on The Wire plea against lower court gag

The Gujarat High Court today reserved its order on a petition filed by online news portal ‘The Wire’ challenging a gag order passed by a lower court in a civil defamation case filed by BJP chief Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah.

Jay Shah submitted his affidavit before the high court judge Paresh Upadhyay today.

In the affidavit, Shah said the appeal against the ex- parte interim order was “not maintainable” and “deserves to be dismissed”.

He also said the applicant has not given “any justification” behind the plea.

The petition was filed by the portal’s management, the Foundation for Independent Journalism, challenging the gag order passed by a civil court on October 12 on a story carried by it (The Wire) titled “The Golden Touch of Jay Amit Shah”.

The petitioner had told the high court that the order passed by a civil court had not shown how the story had affected Shah’s reputation.

The high court, however, had not given interim relief to the petitioner saying that it first wanted to hear the respondent.

The Wire had maintained that the story about the surge of revenue of Shah’s company Temple Enterprise Private Ltd was factually correct and based on the documents obtained from a government office.

The lower court had issued the gag order against The Wire in response to a civil defamation suit of Rs 100 crore filed by Shah against the reporters, editors and the company over the article which claimed that his company’s turnover rose 16,000 times in one year after the NDA came to power.

The company saw a huge rise in its turnover after the BJP came to power in 2014, and its revenue rose from Rs 50,000 to over Rs 80 crore in one year, the article claimed.

It triggered a political firestorm, with the Congress demanding an inquiry into the matter, while the BJP termed it as “slanderous”.

Shah has also filed a criminal defamation suit against the author of the article Rohini Singh, founding editors of the news portal Siddharth Varadarajan, Siddharth Bhatia and M K Venu, managing editor Monobina Gupta, public editor Pamela Philipose and the Foundation for Independent Journalism.

In his suit, Shah termed the article as “scandalous, frivolous, misleading, derogatory, libelous and consisting of several defamatory statements.

( Source – PTI )

Ex-TV anchor, AAP leader wants Jaitley to testify in Hindi

Aam Aadmi Party leader and former TV anchor Ashutosh today moved a city court seeking re-examination of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in vernacular Hindi in a defamation case filed by the BJP leader against him, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others in the DDCA row.

The former journalist, who has himself been putting forth AAP’s views in Hindi and English news channels with equal elan, moved the plea before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat, saying Jaitely be directed to testify again, now in Hindi, as the law mandated.

He claimed that as per law, the proceedings in Delhi courts should be conducted in either English or Hindi whichever language the litigants and counsel can understand.

Ashutosh has also sought video and audio recordings of the court proceedings while referring to the earlier hearing in which chaotic scenes were witnessed after a lawyer had allegedly threatened another counsel inside the courtroom.

The court reserved the order on the pleas for October 27.

It also granted exemption to Kejriwal, AAP leader Raghav Chadha and others from personal appearance for the day after they referred to their political engagements.

Jaitley had on August 5 charged Kejriwal with making a series of false, scandalous and defamatory allegations, with regard to the alleged controversy, claiming that it had adversely affected his reputation.

Kejriwal and others had accused Jaitley of financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) of which he was the president from 2000 to 2013, leading the minister to lodge defamation cases against them.

Kejriwal, Ashutosh, Chaddha, along with other AAP leaders Sajay Singh, Kumar Vishwas and Deepak Bajpai, were on March 25 put on trial in the case.

The notice was framed against the accused under section 500 (punishment for defamation) of the IPC to which they had pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

Jaitley had filed the complaint alleging that the accused had defamed him in a controversy regarding Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) which he headed for over a decade.

A civil defamation suit was also filed by Jaitley before the Delhi High Court in the matter seeking Rs 10 crore as damages.

Ex-TV anchor, AAP leader wants Jaitley to testify in Hindi( Source – PTI )

Madras HC restrains police from arresting Dhinakaran in defamation case

Madras HC restrains police from arresting Dhinakaran in defamation case
Madras HC restrains police from arresting Dhinakaran in defamation case

The Madras High Court today restrained the police from arresting AIADMK rebel leader TTV Dhinakaran in connection with a defamation case filed against him by a party MP, who is supporting Chief Minister K Palaniswami.

In an interim order, Justice S S Sundar of Madurai bench also barred the police from arresting actor and AIADMK functionary Senthil, cited as a co-accused in the case, and posted the matter to October 4 for further hearing.

He passed the interim order on a petition by Senthil who sought quashing of the FIR, registered recently on the basis of a complaint by Tiruchirappallai Lok Sabha member P Kumar, alleging political motive.

Based on the complaint, Crime Branch police in Tiruchirappalli has registered a case under various IPC sections against Senthil and Dhinakaran for allegedly making defamatory comments against the MP and threatening him.

Senthil in his petition submitted that the complainant had said the incident took place in Chennai and hence the police in Tiruchirappalli had no jurisdiction to register the complaint.

He alleged that the case had been registered without any preliminary investigation and the motive behind the complaint was political enmity.

Hence, the case should be quashed and investigation into the complaint should be stayed, he prayed.

( Source – PTI )

Defamation case: Court slaps Rs 10K fine on Medha Patkar, warns her

Defamation case: Court slaps Rs 10K fine on Medha Patkar, warns her
Defamation case: Court slaps Rs 10K fine on Medha Patkar, warns her

A Delhi court today imposed Rs 10,000 as costs on NBA activist Medha Patkar for her repeated failure to appear before it in defamation cases filed by her and KVIC Chairman V K Saxena against each other.

Metropolitan Magistrate Vikrant Vaid granted one last opportunity to the activist while warning that he will dismiss her complaint against Saxena if she again fails to appear.

The court had on June 26 warned Patkar to be “careful in future” and had cancelled the non-bailable warrant issued against her on May 29 for her non-appearance.

The court had in January 2015 also imposed costs of Rs 3,000 on Patkar for non-appearance before it, giving her the “last and final opportunity” to appear before it.

V K Saxena, President of Ahmedabad-based NGO National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), and Patkar have been embroiled in a legal battle since 2000 after she filed a suit against him for publishing advertisements against her and the NBA.

( Source – PTI )

Court takes cognisance of defamation case against ex-Delhi Min

Court takes cognisance of defamation case against ex-Delhi Min
Court takes cognisance of defamation case against ex-Delhi Min

A Delhi court today took cognisance of a criminal defamation complaint filed by Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain against sacked minister Kapil Mishra for allegedly defaming him by levelling graft charges against him.

Metropolitan Magistrate Shefali Barnala Tandon listed the matter for July 14 for recording pre-summoning evidence in support of complaint of Jain, who was present in the court.

Advocate Gautam Dhamija, appearing for Jain, argued that Mishra had made defamatory statements before the national media.

The counsel alleged that Mishra used his official Twitter handle also to defame Jain and instead of going to any probe agency, he had levelled the allegations before the media to defame the Health Minister.

The court also heard arguments on another defamation complaint by Jain against BJP MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa for alleging that the minister was indulging in circulating huge amounts of illegitimate money within the party.

The court listed the complaint against Sirsa for consideration on June three.

Jain has also accused a media house for publishing the alleged “libellous and slanderous statements” made by Sirsa.

The counsel argued that these allegations were made in front of the national media but only one newspaper published it which shows they were hand in glove with each other.

Jain had on May 19 filed two criminal defamation complaints against Mishra and Sirsa for allegedly defaming him by levelling graft charges against him.

If convicted, the offence of defamation entails a maximum punishment of two years.

Jain in his complaint against Mishra, who was earlier heading the water department, submitted that on May 7, he had made a statement before the media accusing him of handing over bribe of Rs two crore to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on May five.

He said his family members and a lot of people from his constituency had questioned him about the incident which had caused irreparable damage to his reputation.

Regarding Sirsa, Jain said that on May 9, the MLA made libellous statements by levelling corruption allegation against him. He said that making a statement on the basis of “hearsay” without any proof or evidence supporting it, is not only unbecoming of an MLA, but also a crime of defaming a person.

( Source – PTI )

Sushil Modi records statement in defamation case

Sushil Modi records statement in defamation case
Sushil Modi records statement in defamation case

Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi today recorded his statement in a Patna court in connection with the defamation case he had filed against two RJD spokespersons for levelling “baseless” and “false” charges against him.

Sushil Modi had filed the defamation case on May 2 against Manoj Jha and Chittranjan Gagan, both RJD spokespersons, for accusing that the BJP leader had acquired ‘benami’ properties in Patna and other places in the country.

Sushil Modi appeared in person at the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Om Prakash to record his statement.

The court admitted his complaint and transferred it for hearing to another court of Judicial Magistrate Om Prakash.

The court fixed May 23 as the next date of hearing.

Sushil Modi told reporters outside the court that he pleaded to the CJM to issue summons to the two RJD spokespersons to appear in person and award severe punishment to them so that nobody dares to level such baseless charges against anybody in the future.

Sushil Modi had filed the defamation suit in the Chief Judicial Court in Patna.

Manoj Jha and Chittaranjan Gagan had alleged that the BJP leader had a palatial bungalow in Patna, that he had illegally acquired 7.5 acres of land and built a mall on it, that he owned luxurious cars in Delhi and that he invested his back money in several places in Kolkata and Delhi.

Sushil Modi said the allegations levelled against him were published prominently in national dailies and that had dented his reputation.

( Source – PTI )

Heated exchanges between Jaitley and Jethmalani in Delhi HC

Heated exchanges between Jaitley and Jethmalani in Delhi HC
Heated exchanges between Jaitley and Jethmalani in Delhi HC

Heated exchanges were witnessed between Union Minister Arun Jaitley and senior advocate Ram Jethmalani in the Delhi High Court today during the former’s cross-examination in a defamation case against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The recording of Jaitley’s statement in a civil defamation suit of Rs 10 crore filed by him against Kejriwal and other AAP functionaries could not continue as the Minister objected to the use of a word against him by the veteran lawyer representing the Chief Minister.

The Finance Minister, who appeared before Joint Registrar Deepali Sharma, lost his cool and asked Jethmalani whether the word was used as per instructions from Kejriwal.

“If this is so, I would aggravate the charges against the defendant (Kejriwal),” Jaitley said, adding that there was a limit to personal malice.

Senior advocates Rajiv Nayar and Sandeep Sethi, who were representing Jaitley, also said that Jethmalani was putting scandalous questions and should restrain himself from asking irrelevant ones “as this matter is Arun Jaitley versus Arvind Kejriwal and not Ram Jethmalani versus Arun Jaitley”.

To this, Jethmalani said he used the word on the instruction of Kejriwal.

However, Anupam Srivastav, advocate on record for Kejriwal since the beginning of the suit, submitted that he had no instruction on the use of the word.

A group of lawyers including Jethmalani who were defending the AAP leaders also maintained that Jaitley was not entitled to a claim of Rs 10 crore on account of his alleged defamation.

Jaitley has filed the civil defamation suit seeking Rs 10 crore damages from Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders — Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai — for accusing him of financial irregularities in the DDCA of which he was the President from 2000 to 2013.

The verbal exchange between Jethmalani and Jaitley started when the former asked a question alleging that his article on irregularities in DDCA could not get published in a weekly magazine at the instance of the Finance Minister.

Jethmalani also alleged that the article pertained to the corruption in DDCA during the period when Jaitley was its President.

The question, however, was disallowed by Joint Registrar observing that she had already termed the article irrelevant on day of recording of the statement on the ground that it was not connected with the instant case. Jethmalani, however, insisted that it was.

He also alleged that Jaitley was “deceiving the people by concealing his guilt of crime.”

The counsel representing the Finance Minister vehemently opposed the choice of words by Jethmalani saying he must stop insulting the minister.

However, as Jethmalani continued his attack, the Joint Registrar objected to it and said the senior lawyer and other advocates were crossing the limit and should allow the court to proceed in the matter.

The court listed the matter for further cross-examination on July 28 and July 31 after Kejriwal’s counsel asked the court to defer it.

( Source – PTI )

Court takes cognisance of defamation case against Cong leader

Court takes cognisance of defamation case against Cong leader
Court takes cognisance of defamation case against Cong leader

A Delhi court has taken cognisance of a criminal defamation case against Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil by a state-run company over his statement alleging scam in the procurement of LED bulbs for government use.

Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria took note of the complaint filed by Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director of Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) which is a joint venture of PSUs of the Power Ministry.

The court fixed the matter for pre-summoning evidence on July 15. If convicted, Gohil may face a maximum jail term for two years.

The application moved through advocate Manik Dogra claimed that Gohil’s statements were “false and malicious propaganda” which were made “for gaining political mileage”.

Gohil in his statement of March 27 had alleged that the company had procured the LED bulbs under the Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme of the government, without transparency and in violation of the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court and the Vigilance Commission.

The EESL had in a statement then refuted the allegations made by Gohil.

EESL was incorporated as a joint venture of 4 PSUs — the National Thermal Power Corporation, the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, the Rural Electrification Corporation and the Power Finance Corporation Ltd.

The national LED lighting programme, inaugurated in January 5, 2015, was designed to reduce energy consumption in the lighting sector and promote LED based efficient lighting products.

( Source – PTI )