Defamation case by Sarpanch: Court summons accused including a reporter and camera person


Jammu, Jan 1: Sub Judge/Special Mobile Magistrate (Passenger Tax and Shops Act), Jammu Khem Raj Sharma has summoned the accused Neelama Kumari W/o Polla Singh and Kiran Devi W/o Jalla Singh both residents of Ward No.1 Garkhal Tehsil Akhnoor, District Jammu and a news portal owner/reporter namely Rabia Khajuria and her associate camera person namely Vikrant Sharma both residents of village Barui, Tehsil Akhnoor District Jammu who jointly own and run an online news Portal under the name and style Jammu Speaks in a criminal complaint filed under Section 499/500 IPC (Defamation) lodged by the complainant Kashmir Singh, Sarpanch Panchayat Halqa Garkhal Tehsil Akhnoor, District Jammu.
After hearing Advocate Muzzaffar Ali Shah appearing for the complainant Kashmir Singh, Sarpanch Pyt. Halqa Garkhal Tehsil Akhnoor District Jammu and going through the defamatory video submitted alongwith the complaint in the form of compact disc (CD), the Sub Judge/Special Mobile Magistrate (Passenger Tax and Shops Act), Jammu Khem Raj Sharma observed that the Court has heard Advocate Muzzaffar Ali Shah, Counsel for the complainant and perused material on the file especially the report of the SHO, P/S Akhnoor regarding the investigation conducted in terms of Section 202 CrPC and preliminary statements of the complainant and one witness in the shape of the duly sworn affidavits, the court is of the opinion that there is sufficient material to proceed further in the case. Accordingly process was issued against the accused persons for commission of offences u/s 499/500 IPC.
Advocate Muzzaffar Ali Shah vehemently argued that the complainant Kashmir Singh is a law abiding, peace loving and respectable citizen and is also social activist and has been elected as Sarpanch of the Panchayat Halqa Garkhal, Tehsil Akhnoor District Jammu by the voters of the area with huge mandate. He further submitted that the works and activities of the complainant have brought name and fame to the locality and increased the respect and reputation of the complainant in the eyes of common masses and his growth and acceptance has been an eye sore for certain vested interests who are hell bent to tarnish the image of the complainant.
Advocate Muzzaffar Ali Shah further submitted that to malign the image of the complainant, the accused persons namely Neelama Kumari and Kirna Devi called the accused Vikrant Sharma to their home and made a video wherein they levelled false, baseless, libellous and defamatory allegations of land grabbing against the complainant and it was alleged that the complainant has encroached upon their some portion of land when the fact remains that the complainant has not encroached upon any land of the accused ladies and such utterances are totally false and baseless, made just to wreck vengeance and to black mail the complainant as also to lower down his image and reputation in the society.
It was further argued that the accused Vikrant Sharma in connivance with the accused Rabia Khajuria shared the defamatory video on the News Portal 'Jammu Speaks' being run by the accused Rabia Khajuria and the said defamatory video accusing the complainant went viral on the social media. The video/facebook interview spread like wild fire not only in Tehsil Akhnoor and District Jammu but throughout the UT and the complainant Kashmir Singh has suffered immense loss to his reputation. The complainant Kashmir Singh has further alleged in the complaint that the local journalist Vikrant Sharma did not ascertain the stance of the complainant and aired the video which caused extensive damage to the reputation of Kashmir Singh.
After considering the submissions of Advocate Muzzaffar Ali Shah the Sub Judge /Special Mobile Magistrate (Passenger Tax and Shops Act), Jammu Khem Raj Sharma in a significant order directed the summoning of the accused including the owner/ reporter of news-portal 'Jammu Speaks' namely Rabia Khajuria and her associate Vikrant Sharma in the criminal defamation complaint filed by Kashmir Singh Sarpanch Panchayat Halqa Garkhal. The summons have been issued through SHO/ Incharge Police Station, Akhnoor to be served upon accused for their appearance before the Court on January 6, 2022.

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