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TMC MP Mahua Moitra Urges HC Delhi to Suspend Proceedings in Defamation Case India News


NEW DELHI: Trinamool Congressional Deputy Mahua Moitra on Thursday urged the Delhi High Court to suspend trial court proceedings in a defamation case brought against him by Zee News and its publisher.
Moitra, who has challenged the summons and the filing of the charges against him in the case, also asked the higher court to advance the date of the hearing in his petition, which appears on February 18.
Judge Mukta Gupta recorded Zee Media Corporation Ltd lawyer’s statement that they will not have their witness examined in the trial court until the matter goes to a higher court hearing on February 18.
Moitra has challenged the lower court orders of September 25, 2019 and January 10, 2020 by which she was cited as a defendant and charges were brought against her in the defamation case, respectively.
The main defender Kapil Sibal, representing Moitra, requested the postponement of the hearing date of his petition before the higher court on the grounds that the defamation case appears before the court of first instance on Friday, that is, the 8 from January.
He said that when the petition was filed in superior court in August last year and the court was to consider granting a provisional order, the media house’s attorney had said the trial was not likely to start on the next date.
In this statement, the higher court had noted that an interim order was not required to be passed at this stage, Sibal said, adding that similar orders were approved on November 5, 2020.
He noted that the case is before the trial court on Friday for the plaintiff’s evidence to be recorded and urged the higher court to stay the proceedings before the lower court.
Lawyer Vijay Aggarwal, representing the media, made a statement in the high court that they will not have the complaining witness examined in the trial court on Friday and will request a postponement.
The high court, after recording his statement, disposed of the new request presented by Moitra.
On January 10, 2020, the court of first instance had brought charges against the politician for the alleged crime of criminal defamation according to the IPC.
Lead attorney Vikas Pahwa, along with attorney Adit S Pujari, who also represents Moitra, had previously submitted to the higher court that the lower court did not give Moitra the opportunity to request dismissal and to present her arguments of that no case had been presented and she was summoned without considering that the statements were made by her without the required intention.
The policy said these proceedings were a counterattack to her libel complaint against Zee news editor-in-chief Sudhir Chaudhary.
Aggarwal said Moitra approached the higher court rather than moving the court sessions and there was a delay in filing the petition.
The crime of defamation provides for a simple prison sentence that can be extended up to two years.
On December 17, 2019, the court of first instance granted a bond to the politician with a personal bond of Rs 20,000, after he appeared before it in compliance with the summons issued against him.
He had previously asked the parties if there was a possibility of a settlement between the parties.
However, the suggestion was rejected by Moitra, who said they had a “substantive” case that was being carried out separately in another court.
The case relates to Moitra’s June 25, 2019 speech in Parliament on the ‘Seven Signs of Fascism’ and a television show run by the news channel and other subsequent developments.
Zee News has filed a defamation complaint against Moitra for allegedly making statements against the channel to the media.
The alleged defamatory statements against the channel were made by the MP while speaking to journalists about the complaints against it.
Prior to that, Moitra had filed a criminal defamation complaint against Zee News and its editor-in-chief, Sudhir Chaudhary, in connection with a program broadcast by her in one of her speeches delivered in Parliament.
On November 4, 2019, the court had summoned the accused in the case presented by the politician.

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