Updated: May 11, 2020 12:12:29 pm
A day after it called a report in The Indian Express, ‘Tablighi FIR: Police probe indicates Saad audio clip was doctored’, “factually incorrect… purely conjectural”, the Delhi Police emailed a notice on Sunday evening to the City Editor and Chief Reporter, requiring the reporter to join the probe Monday or face legal action under Indian Penal Code Section 174 — it can result in a prison term and fine.
The notice was sent on the day The Indian Express published the Delhi Police’s rejoinder with its own response that the report was based on conversations with sources and officials aware of the probe against Maulana Saad, and that calls and a message to Special CP (Crime) Praveer Ranjan Friday for his comments before publication received no response.
A notice under Section 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, invoking powers of a police officer to require attendance of witnesses, by Inspector Satish Kumar, Investigating Officer, SOS-I, Crime Branch — forwarded to the City Editor and Chief Reporter — contained directions for The Indian Express Special Correspondent Mahender Singh Manral to appear before him Monday and produce “all relevant documents/material required for the purpose of investigation” and to “disclose all the facts” relevant to the investigation.
The notice directed the reporter to “join the investigation of the case as and when required” and warned of legal action under IPC Section 174 in the event of “Failure to attend/Comply with the terms of this Notice”.
The Indian Express reported that an initial investigation by the Delhi Police Crime Branch has found that an audio clip mentioned in the police FIR against Markaz Nizamuddin head Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, which suggested he had asked Tablighi Jamaat members not to follow social distancing norms and prohibitory orders, may be “doctored” and stitched together using several audio files.
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