TMC MP Mahua Moitra asks Delhi HC to stay hearing in defamation case filed by Zee News

zee news law insider in
zee news law insider in

Sreya Kanugula

On January 7, 2021, Mahua Moitra asked the High Court of Delhi to stay the hearing in front of a trial court concerning a defamation case. The defamation case was filed against the MP from Trinamool Congress by the Hindi-language channel Zee News.

Ms. Moitra challenged the charges framed against her as well as the summons in the case. She also sought for the preponement of her petition’s hearing listed to be heard on the date of February 8, 2021.

Justice Mukta Gupta listed the Zee Media Corporation counsel’s statement which says that their witness is not allowed to be examined anytime until the matter arrives at the High Court hearing on February 18.

The case is related to the Parliamentary speech made by Ms. Moitra on June 25, 2019, upon the topic of the “Seven Signs of Fascism” and a television show run by Zee News as well as other developments of subsequent nature.

The corporation filed a defamation case against the politician for making allegedly defaming statements against them to the press. These statements were made in defence by Ms. Moitra when she was talking to the press about the allegations made against her.

The politician challenged the orders given on September 25, 2019, as well as January 10, 2020, by the trial court, upon which charges have been framed on her in the case of defamation. Ms. Moitra was summoned by the court as the accused in the same at present and once before, on December 17, 2019.

Moitra was represented by Mr. Kapil Sibal, a senior advocate, who asked for her petition hearing’s preponement before the Delhi High Court on the grounds of her defamation case’s trial date being, January 8, 2021.

He stated that when the petition was filed before the HC in August of 2020, the court was considering the grant of an interim order. But the media house’s counsel stated that the trial may not start right away on the next given date. Upon this, the HC granted no interim order at that stage and on November 5th in 2020, similar orders from the court were passed.

Mr. Sibal added that the case’s listing in front of the trial court this Friday is to record any evidence present with the complainant and urged for these proceedings of the lower court to be stayed by the High court.

Mr. Vijay Aggarwal, who is the representative of Zee News, in this case, stated that their complainant’s witness is not going to be examined by them on January 8, 2021, at the trial court and will ask for an adjournment. Delhi High Court recorded this statement made and disposed of the application filed freshly by Ms. Moitra.

On the 10th of January, 2020, the trial court framed charges on the politician on the alleged criminal defamation offence as listed under the Indian Penal Code. And both advocates representing Ms. Moitra; senior advocate, Mr. Vikas Pahwa as well as advocate, Adit S Pujari, submitted in front of the Delhi High Court earlier that there wasn’t any opportunity given to their client to seek any discharge or advance any of her arguments on the case by the trial court. And that her summons was done so without any consideration that her remarks were made without any requisite intention behind them.

Ms. Moitra stated that these counter-blast proceedings are just another response of the editor-in-chief of Zee News, Mr. Sudhir Chaudhary for the complaint on defamation made by her upon them. Mr. Aggarwal stated instead of urging the sessions court, the politician has urged the high court and a delay has been made on the petition’s application filing.

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