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Himachal HC rejects summon orders against Rajesh Sardesai and others[Read Judgment]

Team SoOLEGAL 1 Sep 2017 3:27pm

Himachal HC rejects summon orders against Rajesh Sardesai and others[Read Judgment]

The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Tuesday rejected the summon orders issued by learned Judicial Magistrate against the Editor in Chief, Director and Managing Director of CNN-IBN, a media channel for airing the video of a sting operation carried out to expose an act of corruption, Haj-Bribe.

The petitioners have invoked the provisions of section 482 of the code of criminal procedure challenging the summoning orders against them dated 1 April, 2015.

The bench comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan, observed that all three accused hold a reputed designation in the company and they would not be vicariously liable to be punished for the crimes of their employees.

The application against them was filed by Maulana Mumtaz Ahmed Quasmi (a convener of AIMPL and member of Himachal Waqf Board and Himachal Haj Committee), for allegedly conducting a sting operation named “Cobra Post” to defame him wherein he was caught on camera taking a bribe of Rs. 10000 from Haj Pilgrims.

According to the plaintiff, the accused intended to send their 15 persons to Haj, however, the enrolment period for going to Haj has already been expired. The accused allegedly framed him by forcibly paying the sum of Rs. 10000 in order to get the permission. The petitioner claimed that he only intended to help pilgrims, as being a Muslim, he took the money as his rightful duty to get the permission from Bombay, instead the accused saw it only as an act of receiving bribe. It was then published in the newspaper with photographs, thus ruined his reputation.        

The Court observed that whatever criminal offences carried out by the people employed in CNN-IBN, does not make the higher authorities of the company liable for the punishment, terming the complaint as an impractical way to get Justice. The Court stated that all three accused would be held accountable for punishment only when they are found guilty of publishing such content, otherwise, they are not answerable for the accusations.

Read the Judgment here:

Himachal Pradesh High Court   Managing Director of CNN-IBN   Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan   Rajesh Sardesai  

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