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Delhi court orders FIR against Republic TV, Arnab on Tharoor's complaint

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A has ordered registration of an FIR against channel and its on a complaint of alleging theft of confidential documents pertaining to the probe into his wife Sunanda Pushakar's death.

Dharmender Singh, in his January 21 order that was uploaded Friday, directed the SHO concerned to lodge the FIR and investigate the matter which required probe as it is not clear that how the material came in the possession of the accused persons.

"This court is of the considered view that in view of allegations levelled by and material produced on record in the form of RTI replies and other material, matter discloses commission of cognizable offence and in view of this court, matter requires investigation by police as it is not clear that how said material came in the possession of proposed accused persons.

"This court is of the further view that number of persons are to be examined in this matter. In these circumstances, SHO concerned is directed to register FIR in this matter and investigate the same as per law," the court said and posted the matter for further hearing on April 4," the court said.

Vikas Pahwa, appearing for Tharoor, had told the court that during the investigation of the death case, police collected a number of items or materials of the deceased and recorded statement of complainant and one of his aides All those documents and materials were part of confidential record and within the sole possession of the investigation team.

It added that the accused persons "in an attempt to increase the viewership of their channel deliberately made malicious and defamatory remarks against complainant".

The court noted that has already started legal action against the channel and before the for alleged defamatory accusation.

"It is alleged that during several broadcast on said news channel, which was conducted by proposed accused persons, certain documents were shown on news channel which were stated to be documents related to investigation of the death of complainant's wife.

"Such documents are copy of internal file notings of Delhi Police, copy of statement of complainant given to Delhi Police, copy of statement of complainant's Narain Singh, pictures of deceased which were taken during autopsy," the complaint said.

It alleged that these confidential documents were "illegally accessed" and "shown/broadcast on their news channel".

"It is alleged that accused persons accessed the complainant's email account without his authority or consent and shared the personal emails on their news channel. It is submitted that accused persons even filed said materials/ documents as part of their reply in civil suit before high court," the complaint said.

The complainant cited the RTI queries received from the Delhi Police, which said "it is not permissible to share the information/ documents related to any investigation to any public member/media till the case is pending investigation."

"It is submitted that above said RTI replies by of Police authorities clearly shows that proposed accused persons accessed the above mentioned documents illegally. It is submitted that complainant filed the complaint with police regarding theft of those documents/ materials and regarding hacking of his e-mail account.

"However, no action has been taken by police. So, present application was filed with request to pass direction for registration of FIR and investigation of this matter," the complaint said.

Tharoor, former Union and Pushkar's husband, has been charged under sections 498-A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), but has not been arrested in the case.

was found dead in a suite of a luxury hotel in the city on the night of January 17, 2014. The couple were staying in the hotel as the official was being renovated at that time.

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

First Published: Fri, February 08 2019. 21:41 IST