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Haryana Court Issues Arrest Warrant Against Deepak Chaurasiya In POCSO Case For Non-Appearance Due To An 'Interview With UP CM'

Sparsh Upadhyay
7 Feb 2023 5:29 PM GMT

Another arrest warrant has been issued against Journalist-News Anchor Deepak Chaurasiya in a 2013 case for allegedly airing 'morphed, edited & obscene' videos of a 10-year-old girl and her family and linking the same to a sexual assault case.

The Additional Sessions Judge, Gurugram Shashi Chauhan issued a Non-Bailable Warrant against him after he failed to appear before the Court purportedly due to a pre-scheduled interview with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the day of the hearing (Feb 4).

Though an application seeking personal exemption from appearance was moved by his counsel, the Court noted that the same was not supported by any affidavit of Chaurasia or his counsel. The Court also noted that the same was filed without any accompanying cogent documentary proof explaining his absence.

His counsel explained that the delay was not deliberate as Chaurasia had to interview UP CM and he even filed a communication received from the UP CM's officer, however, the Court noted that the said communication was not addressed to Chaurasia. The Court also objected to the filing of such communication as the mail was stated to be confidential in nature.

Significantly, during the case hearing, the prosecution submitted that Chaurasia was deliberately not present before the Court on the day when the case was fixed for argument on the charge, as he wanted to delay the proceedings.

Taking into account the overall circumstances, the Court went ahead to observe thus:

"Hence, keeping in view the peculiar circumstances of the case that the present case has already become very old and registered under the POCSO Act and the application for personal exemption moved by the applicant/accused is not supported by any affidavit and no cogent documentary proof regarding his absence has been filed therefore, no ground is made out to allow the application and same stands dismissed."

Further, the Court also canceled the bail bond and the surety bond of Chaurasia, and the same was forfeited to the State. A warrant of arrest was issued against Chaurasia for March 3, 2023. A notice to his surety under Section 446 CrPC was also issued.

This is the second time that such an arrest warrant has been issued against him. Earlier, on October 28, the Gurugram Court issued a similar order after Chaurasiya moved an application seeking exemption from his personal appearance on grounds of serious health condition. However, since his application wasn't supported by relevant medical reports, therefore, the Court issued an arrest warrant against him.

Chaurasia is among the eight people who were charge-sheeted for airing "edited", "obscene" videos of a ten-year-old child and her family and linking the video to the sexual assault case against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.

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