The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday granted conditional bail to Anuj Shukla, editor of news channel Nation Live, which had allegedly aired defamatory content about Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath.
Shukla was arrested last month in a fraud and forgery case registered for allegedly operating a news channel without possessing a proper broadcast license. A FIR was lodged under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code.
This action was taken against the news agency after the channel aired defamatory content about Adityanath, a criminal case for which was filed separately.
While he was granted bail in the defamation case on June 20 by the District and Sessions Court in Surajpur in Greater Noida, the editor was still in jail in connection to the fraud and forgery case. He took the plea that he was a mere employee of the channel. He was neither the proprietor nor the director of the channel and had been falsely implicated in the case,he submitted.
Taking into account the overall circumstances of the case, Justice Ajit Singh relied on the Supreme Court's verdict in Data Ram v. State of U.P. & Ors., 2018(3) SCC 22, and granted conditional bail to the editor on furnishing a bail bond. The Supreme Court had, in the aforementioned judgment, opined that grant of bail is the general rule of criminal jurisprudence and putting a person in jail is an exception.
The editor was represented by Advocates Prashant Sharma and Narendra Singh Chahar.
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