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Allahabad HC Grants Protection From Arrest To ‘The Scroll’ Journalist Supriya Sharma In FIR Alleging Misrepresentation Of Facts & Statements [Read Order]

first_imgNews UpdatesAllahabad HC Grants Protection From Arrest To ‘The Scroll’ Journalist Supriya Sharma In FIR Alleging Misrepresentation Of Facts & Statements [Read Order] LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK26 Aug 2020 9:52 PMShare This – xThe Allahabad High Court on Tuesday granted protection from arrest to Supriya Sharma, Executive Editor of Scroll.in and also the Editor in Chief of Scroll.in, in connection to an FIR lodged against them by a Varanasi resident for misrepresentation of her statements. The Division Bench comprising Justices Manoj Misra and Anil Kumar-IX observed that Ms. Supriya claimed to be in possession…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Allahabad High Court on Tuesday granted protection from arrest to Supriya Sharma, Executive Editor of Scroll.in and also the Editor in Chief of Scroll.in, in connection to an FIR lodged against them by a Varanasi resident for misrepresentation of her statements. The Division Bench comprising Justices Manoj Misra and Anil Kumar-IX observed that Ms. Supriya claimed to be in possession of an audio recording of the interview, the contents of which were reflected in the publication. It therefore granted them relief in the following terms: “considering the facts and circumstances of the case and keeping in mind that the petitioners claim that they have audio recording of the interview, the contents of which were reflected in the publication, we deem it appropriate to dispose off this petition by providing that investigation of the case shall continue and brought to its logical conclusion but petitioners shall not be arrested in the above case till submission of police report under Section 173 (2) CrPC. provided they cooperate in the investigation.” However, the Court refused to quash the FIR against them, stating that the allegations contained in the FIR disclose commission of cognizable offence. The FIR had been lodged at the Ramnagar Police Station by Mala Devi, a resident of Varanasi’s Domari village, who complained that Sharma misrepresented her statements and made false claims in her report. Accordingly, the Police registered a case under Sections 501 (Printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory) and 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease danger­ous to life) of IPC, along with relevant provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. In her report titled ‘In Varanasi village adopted by Prime Minister Modi, people went hungry during the lockdown’ Sharma had quoted Mala, an alleged domestic worker, of having faced extreme hardship, including lack of food or ration during the lockdown. As per the FIR dated June 13 however, Mala Devi claimed that she is not a domestic worker and that her comments were misrepresented by the Executive Editor. She claimed that she is a sanitation worker at the Varanasi city municipality through outsourcing and she did not face any distress during the lockdown, and had access to food. Recalling her interview with Sharma, Mala Devi said, “She asked me about the lockdown; I told her neither me or anyone in my family faced any problems.” In the FIR thus, Mala Devi said, “By saying that me and children went hungry, Supriya Sharma has made fun of my poverty and my caste. She has hurt my sentiments and my reputation in the society.” Refuting these allegations, Ms. Supriya had submitted that she had made audio recording of the interview and the publication was a true representation of what was stated in the interview and the publication was made in public interest to highlight the condition of certain persons. “Be that as it may, all the aforesaid aspects need to be ascertained on the basis of material collected during the course of investigation and therefore, at this stage, it would not be appropriate for us to express any opinion as regards the merits of the allegations. Under the circumstances, as the allegations disclose commission of cognizable offence, the prayer of the petitioners to quash the first information report cannot be accepted,” the Court observed. Earlier, Scroll.in had issued a statement claiming that Mala Devi’s comments were reported “accurately” and that the FIR is an attempt to “intimidate and silence” independent journalism on conditions of vulnerable groups during the Covid-19 lockdown. Click Here To Download Order Read Order Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more