NewDelhi/Nagpur: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed criminal defamation proceedings against senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai in a case for allegedly making false implication against a senior Hyderabad police officer in connection with the 2007 Sohrabuddin encounter case.
A bench of Justices Prafulla C Pant and Amitava Roy also tagged his petition, filed along with seven others associated with the case with other matters, in which constitutional validity of sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the IPC has been challenged.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, Arvind Kejriwal and others have also challenged the validity of the criminal defamation law and have sought to decriminalise it.
The bench said during the brief hearing on Monday that Sardesai and seven others have decided to filed a fresh petition after their appeal was dismissed.
The TV journalists filed the fresh writ petition on the issue after the apex court on May 15 had junked their appeals against summons issued to them for allegedly defaming Rajiv Trivedi, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crimes and SIT), Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
It had upheld the judgement passed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court rejecting the petitions for quashing initiation of criminal proceedings against the journalists under Section 482 of the Cr PC saying it was perfectly legal and valid.
“The same does not call for interference by this court in exercise of its appellate jurisdiction as there is no substantial question of law framed in the appeals nor is there any miscarriage of justice for the appellants to interfere with at this stage,” it had said while dismissing the appeals.
The other journalists summoned were Sidhartha Gautam, Swati Vashishta, VK Shashikumar, Ahmed Ali Shaik, Gulab Kotari, Hemender Sharma and Lateef Mohammed Khan.