21 Nov 2023 7:16 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday reserved judgment on the plea for interim relief in the defamation suit filed by city’s Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar against news portal 'The Wire' over a report casting aspersions on him in relation to his involvement in an alleged land acquisition case. Justice Sachin Datta reserved verdict on Kumar’s application seeking ad-interim injunction also...
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday reserved judgment on the plea for interim relief in the defamation suit filed by city’s Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar against news portal 'The Wire' over a report casting aspersions on him in relation to his involvement in an alleged land acquisition case.
Justice Sachin Datta reserved verdict on Kumar’s application seeking ad-interim injunction also issued summons in the suit.
The suit has been filed against the news report titled “Links of Son of Delhi Chief Secretary to Beneficiary's Family in Land Over-Valuation Case Raise Questions”. The story was published on November 09 by reporter Meetu Jain.
Kumar, in his suit, has sought take down of the article as well as a direction to restrain the news portal and the reporter from publishing any further defamatory articles against him.
The case alleges that Kumar was involved in enhancing an “exorbitant compensation award” for a parcel of land in city’s Bamnoli village acquired for the Dwarka Expressway project.
During the hearing, Senior Advocate Maninder Singh appeared for Kumar and said that the article was “pre-planned” in order to “activate” people against him.
On the other hand, Advocate Sarin Naved appeared for the news portal and said that the intention behind the article, which only raised a few questions, was not to defame Kumar in any manner.
Justice Datta told Naved that “there must be some semblance of truth” in the allegations made in the article in question. “As a member of the press, there is no law against sensationalism? You can indulge in exaggeration? There must be some semblance of truth,” he said.
The suit stems from a legal notice sent by Kumar to The Wire and the reporter on November 13, alleging that the contents of the article are ex facie misleading and per se defamatory.
“The contents of the said article are ex-facie misleading and per se defamatory, where you have, while irresponsibly portraying an obscure linkage of my Client's son in an issue pertaining to enhanced valuation of a plot of land admeasuring around 19 acres in Bamnoli Village which was being acquired for the National Highways Authority of India for the Dwarka Expressway road project; raised questions on my Client's unwavering and unqualified integrity and reputation,” the legal notice reads.
Recently, Delhi Vigilance Minister Atishi recommended immediate removal of Kumar and another senior bureaucrat Ashwani Kumar by submitting a preliminary report on the issue.
The report was forwarded by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena asking for Kumar’s suspension. However, the LG refused to accept the report stating that appears to be “completely based” on preconceived assumptions and presumptions.
Title: SHRI NARESH KUMAR V/s THE WIRE & ORS.