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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Delhi court dismisses plea against order summoning Sudhir Chaudhary in Mahua Moitra case

Additional Sessions Judge Anil Antil on Monday passed the order which held that the metropolitan magistrate’s summoning order did not “suffer from illegality or perversity, warranting any interference by this revisional court”.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: July 6, 2021 10:57:35 am
Sudhir ChaudharySudhir Chaudhary (Source: Sudhir Chaudhary/Twitter)

A Delhi court has dismissed a revision petition filed by Zee News’s Sudhir Chaudhary, who had challenged an order summoning him in an alleged defamation case filed by Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra.

Additional Sessions Judge Anil Antil on Monday passed the order which held that the metropolitan magistrate’s order summoning Chaudhary did not “suffer from illegality or perversity, warranting any interference by this revisional court”.

Antil further said that the metropolitan magistrate passed a detailed order “wherein the entire pre-summoning evidence in the form of statement of the complainant and two other witnesses along with the documents have been considered and appreciated by the…trial court before proceeding to issue summons to the accused to face trial. Therefore, the objection of the petitioner to say that order is cryptic, without application of judicial mind cannot be sustained”.

As per court records, a Zee News broadcast aired on July 2, 2019 had alleged that a speech delivered by Moitra in Parliament was plagiarised from an article authored by one Martin Longmean which had appeared on an American website called Washington Monthly.

Moitra had said that her speech elaborated and explained in detail how the seven signs of fascism are applicable to the prevailing political situation in India.

The segment was aired despite Moitra expressly clarifying that the same was taken from a poster at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in the United States of America.

Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing for Moitra, submitted that the petition was simply an attempt by Chaudhary to stall the proceedings before the trial court. He pointed out how the petition was filed even before the summoning order of the trial court.

Further, it was submitted that the defamatory nature of the broadcast cannot be based on conjecture at a preliminary stage and the same must be decided by way of trial.

Chaudhary’s lawyers argued that before summoning him, “the outcome of the inquiry, evidence and documentary record produced before the trial court ought to have been clearly mentioned in the order by the MM”.

His lawyers also contended that Moitra “did not approach the court with clean hands” and the “magistrate has also erred in passing the summoning order without appreciating the provisions of law”.

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