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SC quashes MP Congress leader's conviction in defamation case

IANS  |  New Delhi 

In a relief to K.K. Mishra, the on Friday quashed a defamation case filed against him by the state for making defamatory remarks against

A bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice R. Banumathi, and Justice set aside the November 17, 2017, order of a trial court in which had sentenced to two years in jail in the defamation case, while holding that the "very initiation of the prosecution has been found by us to be untenable in law".

"On the conclusions that have been reached by us... the conviction of the accused appellant (Mishra) and the sentence imposed would not have any legs to stand. The very initiation of the prosecution has been found by us to be untenable in law," said the bench.

"Merely because the trial is over and has ended in the conviction of the appellant and the matter is presently pending before the in appeal should not come in the way of our interdicting the same," said the bench while invoked its extraordinary jurisdiction and closed the appeal pending before the against the trial court verdict.

A trial court in had convicted and sentenced Mishra, the Congress' in the state, to two years jail in the defamation case for levelling charges against Chouhan in the transport recruitment scam which was part of the Vyapam scam.

was released on bail soon after the trial order was delivered. Later, he challenged the trial court's verdict in High Court, which was still pending there.

He had approached the apex court challenging the MP order of dismissing his plea against the the sanction granted by the to file defamation complaint and thereafter charges framed against him in the case.

The apex court bench in its order took into note the sequence of event and said that in the present case, the press meet was convened by on June 21, 2014 and the government accorded sanction to the to file complaint under the Indian Penal Code's Section 500 against him on June 24, 2014.

"As seen from the records, the complaint was filed by the against Mishra on the very same day i.e. June 24,2014. The haste with which the complaint was filed prima facie indicates that the may not have applied his mind to the materials placed before him as held in Bairam Muralidhar case. We, therefore, without hesitation, take the view that the complaint is not maintainable on the very face of it and would deserve our interference," it added.

The apex court said that it was clear that the public prosecutor, who had filed the defamation complaint, had not done any scrutiny of materials on the basis of which the sanction to prosecute Mishra was obtained from the competent authority.

"The public prosecutor in terms of the statutory scheme under the Criminal Procedure Code plays an important role. He is supposed to be an independent person and apply his mind to the materials placed before him," it added.

In Bhopal, the had filed the defamation case against Mishra in June 2014 for "making defamatory and false statements against the with an intent to tarnish his image" under sections 499 and 500 of the IPC.

The case was filed after Mishra alleged during a press conference in that 19 candidates from Gondia in Maharashtra, where Chouhan's wife hails from, were illegally recruited as constables in the Transport Department following tests held by the state's (PEB), known popularly by its old Hindi acronym Vyapam.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, April 14 2018. 00:12 IST