BHUBANESWAR: A day after Mayor AN Jena filed a defamation suit against NSUI (Odisha) president Itish Pradhan and proprietor of news web portal Niakhunta.com Pradeep Pandey, the Bhubaneswar SDJM’s court directed social and electronic media platforms to refrain from publishing, telecasting or circulating any ‘defamatory’ content.
The SDJM has issued show cause notices to Pradhan and Pandey to appear in court on December 28 and submit their stand in the case. Notices have also been issued to authorities of five vernacular news channels which went on air to telecast the video which has drawn Jena into the controversy.
The court observed that as Jena is a public representative and the genuineness of the video is yet to be established, it is necessary to temporarily stop telecasting any defamatory content against him till the case is sub-judice, Jena’s lawyer Sitanshu Mohan Dwivedy said.
A day after the video clip with an objectionable content went viral on social media, Jena lodged a complaint with Capital Police. The police registered an FIR under Sections 66 D and 67 A of the Information Technology Act and Sections 292 and 500A of the IPC. A day later, the SDJM court admitted the defamation suit.
The Commissionerate of Police has written to Youtube to furnish details of the system/s from which the video was uploaded first. While the matter surfaced on Thursday, sources said the video was already viral on social media and messaging apps. ‘We have sought details of the IP addresses of the locations from where the video in question was posted on Youtube,’’ DCP Satyabrata Bhoi said.
Amid media reports of deceased Asutosh Mohanty alias Rishi’s parents levelling allegations that there was a link between the video clip and their son’s death, police denied receiving any fresh complaints. ‘’The incident was registered as an unnatural death case with Khandagiri police and the investigation is still open,’’ Bhoi added.
The State Unit of Youth Congress took out a rally from Congress Bhavan to Rajmahal square demanding Mayor Jena’s arrest. The rally was stopped by the police while activists were attempting to head towards Jena’s quarters at Unit I area. Effigies of Jena were also burnt at the junction.
BJP activists also took out a rally from the party office to Station Square demanding the Mayor’s resignation. They have threatened to gherao the BMC office on Monday.