Delhi HC quashes summons issued against ‘The Wire’ on complaint of JNU professor
The professor, Amrita Singh, had filed the case against the news portal and its editors Siddharth Bhatia and Ajoy Ashirwad in 2016.
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday quashed summons issued by a trial court in a criminal defamation case filed against news portal The Wire by Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Amrita Singh, reported Live Law.
Singh had filed the case against the news portal and its editors Siddharth Bhatia and Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta in 2016.
She had claimed that an article by Mahaprashasta that year had claimed that Singh had prepared a dossier allegedly depicting JNU as a ‘den of organised sex racket’, according to Bar and Bench.
Singh had alleged that the article wrongly used her name in the dossier and that the editors at The Wire had not verified the authenticity of it.
On January 7, 2017, a metropolitan court had summoned Bhatia and Mahaprashta in the case.
On Wednesday, Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani of the High Court quashed the lower court’s order, saying there was no material before the magistrate based on which the summoning order could have been passed, reported Live Law.
“…. the aforesaid caption only says that the dossier called JNU a “den of organised sex racket”, but nothing in the extract says anything against the respondent [Singh] herself, much less anything that could be taken to be defamatory of the respondent,” Justice Bhambhani said in the order.
The judge also said that the lower court erroneously passed the order on the basis of oral evidence.
“All that was stated in the article was that the respondent had led a team of persons, who had compiled a dossier, which dossier purported to expose certain wrongdoing at JNU,” the court said. “The subject publication did not say that the respondent was involved in any wrongdoing; nor did it speak of the respondent in any derogatory, derisive or denigrating terms.”