SC Stays Delhi Government's Anti-media Circular

Published: 15th May 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2015 06:00 AM   |  A+A-

SC Stays

NEW DELHI:The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed a circular issued by Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP Government in Delhi on filing defamation cases against media organisations for publishing any piece of news that dents the image of the government or its ministers and asked the Delhi CM to explain why it was issued while blaming him for adopting double standards.

“We direct stay of the circular dated May 6 till further order of this court. Accordingly, it is stayed,” said a Bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Prafulla C Pant.

The court’s order came on an application filed by senior counsel Amit Sibal, who had filed a criminal defamation complaint against Kejriwal and others in the Patiala House Court. Sibal said that while the Chief Minister on one hand seeks setting aside of penal laws on defamation, on the other hand he has issued such a circular.

Appearing for Sibal, counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi urged the court to vacate the stay granted by it on May 1 in the defamation case instituted by Sibal pertaining to the alleged conflict of interest between him and his father and then Union Minister Kapil Sibal.

“It is noteworthy that the aforesaid circular directly contradicts and mitigates against the stand taken by him (Kejriwal) in the present petition,” the plea said, adding that the stay on the trial court proceedings against Kejriwal ought to be vacated.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had stayed proceedings in trial courts in a few criminal defamation cases against Kejriwal while deciding to hear his plea challenging “Constitutional validity” of the penal provisions relating to defamation.

seeks Explanation  from Kejriwal

Asking Kejriwal to explain why the Directorate of Information has issued such  a circular, the court sought a reply within six weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on July 8.


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