The Metropolitan Magistrate on November 4th, 2019 issued summons to Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary and directed him to personally appear before the court on January 29th, 2020. An Additional Sessions Court in Patiala House on 23rd January exempted Mr. Chaudhary from personally appearing on 29th January. The case was in connection with Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra’s defamation case against the editor-in-chief.
A criminal defamation case was filed against Sudhir Chaudhary by Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra after Sudhir Chaudhary alleged that the speech given by the MP on 25th June last year on the Parliament on the ‘Seven Signs of Fascism’ was plagiarized. The MP before her pre-summoning statement before the court stated that the allegations made against her were false, baseless and malicious. She in her defence said that, before the speech she specifically mentioned that the signs were taken from a long list of signs available on a poster in the Holocaust Museum in USA. She alleged that the allegation made by the editor-in-chief was intended to damage her reputation, credibility and impeccable integrity severely and irreversibly. She contended that the defamatory comments made on her were done both in personal and professional capacity.
- Additional Sessions Court in Patiala House, New Delhi on 23rd January exempted Sudhir Chaudhary from personally appearing on 29th
- Chaudhary should be duly represented by his council on the date so fixed directed the Court.
- Court issued notice to Mahua Moitra and exempted Sudhir Chaudhary for personally appearing before the Court on January 29th.
Order passed by the Additional Sessions Court
The order passed by Justice Anil Antil in the revision plea filed by Sudhir Chaudhary, seeking to impeach the summoning order states: “The personal appearance of the petitioner/ revisionist/ accused is exempted before the learned Trial Court on 29-01-2019, however, the revisionist shall be duly represented by his counsel before the learned Trial Court on the date so fixed”.
In the revision petition filed by Mr. Chaudhary stated that the Metropolitan Magistrate has not followed the proper procedure and fail to carry out the inquiry as mandated by Section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. In view of the contentions made by the revisionist, and also the fact that the complainant did not dispute the jurisdiction of the Additional Sessions Court of Patiala House as the petitioner is a resident of Noida, Uttar Pradesh, the Court issued notice to Mahua Moitra in the revision plea and exempted Mr. Chaudhary from personally appearing before the Metropolitan Magistrate on 29th January.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
1. Sudhir Chaudhary v. State & Anr. Criminal Revision No. 245, 2020.
2. Bar and Bench, https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/delhi-court-exempts-personal-appearance-of-sudhir-chaudhary-in-mahua-moitra-defamation-case (last visited 25th January 2020 3:38 PM)