30 Sep 2023 3:30 AM GMT
The Kerala High Court has closed the petition filed by the Chief Reporter of Asianet News Channel Akhila Nandakumar to quash the FIR registered against her for allegedly conspiring to defame CPI(M)'s student wing leader PM Arsho in connection with the Maharaja’s College examination controversy.Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan passed the order, taking note of the submission made by the...
The Kerala High Court has closed the petition filed by the Chief Reporter of Asianet News Channel Akhila Nandakumar to quash the FIR registered against her for allegedly conspiring to defame CPI(M)'s student wing leader PM Arsho in connection with the Maharaja’s College examination controversy.
Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan passed the order, taking note of the submission made by the Public Prosecutor that Nandakumar had already been removed from the array of accused in the crime.
PM Arsho, a postgraduate Archaeology student at Maharajas College and the State General Secretary of the Students Federation of India, alleged that even though he did not appear for the 3rd-semester exam, the college authorities wrongly passed him. He further stated that the journalist, allegedly acting in conspiracy with the college principal and department coordinator, spread the said news to defame him.
A case was thus registered against Nandakumar and four others under Sections 120B (Punishment for criminal conspiracy), 465 (Punishment for Forgery), 469 (Forgery for purpose of harming reputation), and 500 (Punishment for Defamation) of the IPC.
Nandakumar averred that she had visited the college to report about the alleged forgery of an experience certificate by a former SFI activist in order to secure a teaching job, and that it was during the said interview that one Fazil, President of the Kerala Students Union (KSU) made an allegation that Arsho was passed in the exam even when he did not appear for it.
In her plea, Nadakumar claimed that she had not said anything against Arsho during the live telecast, save for a remark that a political allegation is made against him. She also submitted that other print and visual media had also reported about the incident and even attributed Arsho as being a beneficiary of the exam fraud. However, Arsho chose to implicate her alone.
The college principal claimed that the discrepancy in the result was due to an error on the part of the National Informatics Centre (NIC). Nandakumar thus submitted that she has no control over the controversy and that the Additional Director General of Police showed undue haste in issuing an order directing the registration of FIR against her.
Nandaukumar thus alleged that she had been falsely implicated in the case in order to harass her due to previous vengeance towards the Asianet News channel. She added that several criminal cases had been foisted against various news reporters of the Asianet news channel within a short span of one year, as well.
The plea was moved through Advocates Asaf Ali T., V.V. Nandagopal Nambiar, and Laliza T.Y.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Ker) 526
Case Title: Akhila Nandakumar v. State of Kerala & Ors.
Case Number: CRL.MC NO. 4975 OF 2023
Click Here To Read/Download The Order