The Delhi High Court today sought the response of the Delhi government and a former BJP councillor on a plea by a TV journalist challenging the proceedings against him in a criminal defamation case for allegedly airing libellous news.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva issued a notice to the complainant, who had filed the defamation case against Rajdeep Sardesai, who was then heading the IBN18 Network, and listed the matter for hearing on September 19.
The court also granted journalist exemption from personal appearance before a Dwarka trial court for a hearing in June.
Advocates Saif Mahmood and Mrinal Bharti, who appeared for Sardesai, sought quashing of the January 8 order of a sessions court which had set aside a previous decision of a magistrate discharging him in the defamation case.
The counsel sought the high court's direction to reaffirm the magistrate's December 2013 order by which the journalist was discharged in the case on the ground that no offence was made out against him.
They also said if the sessions court's order was not stayed, it would cause unnecessary harassment to the journalist.
The defamation complaint was filed in the trial court in December 2011 against six persons, including Sardesai, following allegations that they defamed the complainant Ajit Kumar Tokas by initiating a sting operation in which reporters posed as builders with hidden cameras intended to and hereby allegedly exposing illegal construction in municipal ward Munirka of which Tokas was the then BJP councillor.
It claimed that the reporters posed as builders approached the complainant with hidden cameras to allegedly expose and trap him who they assumed was corrupt and involved in such irregularities.
It alleged that the sting was carried by an agency named 'Cobrapost', which worked for channels such as CNN-IBN and IBN-7. The sting operation was telecast from December 6, 2011 to December 8, 2011.
It said not only this news was broadcast through their channels, it was also disseminated through their website.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)