Published On : Thu, May 14th, 2015

Defamation proceedings against media, SC stays Delhi government’s circular

NewDelhi/Nagpur: In a setback for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi, the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the defamation proceedings initiated by the Arvind Kejriwal government against media houses.

The circular was issued by the Delhi government on May 6.

The Delhi government had asked all its officials to lodge a complaint with the Principal Secretary (Home) if they came across any news item damaging the reputation of the Chief Minister or the government, so that further action could be taken.

According to a circular issued by the Directorate of Information and Publicity Department, if any officer associated with the Delhi government feels that the published or aired news item damages his or the government’s reputation, he should file a complaint with the Principal Secretary (Home).

“In such case, a reference letter will be sent to the Principal Secretary (Home) containing details of the defamatory imputation published, the mode of publication, factual inaccuracy, details of allegations made and ground for believing that it will harm the reputation of the person against whom the imputation has been made,” a senior officer said.

According to the official, the Principal Secretary (Home) will then examine the matter and will also seek the opinion of the Director (prosecution) as to whether the prosecution under section 499/500 of the IPC is to be launched.

If as per the opinion of the Director (prosecution), offence of defamation is made out the Principal Secretary will refer the matter to the Law Department for examining the matter and obtain the sanction of under section 199(4) of the CrPc.

After the sanction of the government is obtained, the home department will forward the case to the public prosecutor for making a complaint under Section 199(2) of the CrPc.

The move came just a few days after, Delhi Government issued order for close monitoring of all news channels.