The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim protection from arrest to Zee News Editor Rajnish Ahuja in the multiple FIRs registered over the airing of a doctored video of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
The Court issued notice to the States of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and the Union Government and ordered that no coercive steps be taken against the petitioner with respect to the existing FIRs and future FIRs which are registered on the same subject matter.
The Court allowed the investigation to proceed in the first FIR registered in Jaipur but stayed the investigation in the subsequent FIR registered in Raipur. The petition has been tagged with the earlier petition filed by anchor Rohit Ranjan, who was granted interim protection from arrest by a vacation bench on July 8.
Senior Advocate Siddharth Dave, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that multiple FIRs have been registered in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh over the same broadcast. The petitioner stated that the channel had retracted the broadcast after realising the mistake and the anchor had issued a public apology as well.
The issue is with respect to a news aired by the channel that Rahul Gandhi had said that the murderers of Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal should be forgiven. However, the news was based on a doctored video of Gandhi in which he had actually said that he was forgiving the youngsters who vandalised his office in Wayanad.
Last month, the Court directed that no coercive action be taken against Rohit Ranjan, the anchor of the telecast in question, in relation to cases filed against him in multiple jurisdictions.