A local court on Wednesday recorded the statement of an AAP member in a criminal defamation complaint against the CEO of a news portal for allegedly releasing a “doctored” video purportedly showing some party candidates accepting funds through illegal means ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections.
Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain recorded the statement of complainant-witness Pankaj, an Aam Aadmi Party member, who told the court that the CD was shown on the TV channels to defame the party and its candidates prior to the Assembly polls. The court recorded his statement and posted the matter to July 23 for remaining pre-summoning evidence.
The plea was filed by the AAP and its Sangam Vihar MLA Dinesh Mohania. The AAP and Mohania alleged that the video of the sting operation showing AAP members accepting illegal funds was forged and tampered with due to which charges under Sections 464 (making a false document) and 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation) of the IPC were also made out.
They also alleged that they have got the raw footage of the alleged sting operation from the Election Commission of India and that the court should go through it as it makes clear that the footage shown on TV was edited.
Besides Anuranjan Jha, CEO of news portal Media Sarkar, AAP and Mohania had also named two officials of a private news channel as accused in its complaint, saying they carried the story based on the alleged sting operation without verifying its “veracity”.
In its plea, AAP had claimed Jha had released the “edited CD” which “appears to be doctored” and it was damaging for the party as it lowers their image in the eyes of the public.
The sting operation alleged several AAP leaders, who were contacted for helping to recover money from some individuals and getting through some controversial land deals, readily agreed to extend their support in return for donations in cash to the party. The charges have been dismissed as baseless by the AAP.
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