Friday, February 3, 2023

Allahabad High Court stays coercive action in defamation case against four people by TV serial actor

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The Allahabad High Court has stayed the coercive action in the defamation case on behalf of the TV serial ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’ actor against four persons including film actress Munisha Khatwani .

A Single Bench of Justice Syed Aftab Husain Rizvi passed this order while hearing an application under Section 482 Cr.P.C filed by Munisha Khatwani @ Monisha Madhu Khatwani.

The application under Section 482 Cr.P.C has been filed by the applicant with a prayer to quash the summoning order dated 18.04.2022 passed by Second Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar, as well as entire proceeding of Complaint Case under section 500 IPC, Police Station Sector-49, District Gautam Budh Nagar, pending in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate-II, Gautam Budh Nagar.

Submission of the counsel for the applicant is that opposite party no 2 (Karan Mehra) has filed a complaint against the applicant and three others for offence under section 500 IPC.

Counsel for the applicant also submitted that the applicant is a friend of the complainant. Opposite party no 2 and his wife Nisha Rawal, who has been named as accused no 4 in the complaint. Complaint against the applicant has been filed only because she is a friend of Nisha Rawal, the victim, who has lodged an FIR against the opposite party no 2, Case under sections 336, 337, 323, 504, 506, IPC, Police Station Goregaon, Mumbai. She has also disclosed to the applicant orally about her husband, extra marital affairs and that he was assaulted.

Being a friend of Nisha Rawal, the wife of opposite party no 2, the applicant simply accompanied her when she got hospitalized and the media gathered outside the hospital after becoming aware of such incident of domestic violence and the applicant gave one or two statements by way of a fair comments that came to the knowledge of the applicant through Nisha Rawal.

The applicant has not invited the media/public. She has not committed any criminal act. The accused has worked in many T.V Serials. It is the Nisha Rawal who finally decided to speak against him regarding his demand of dowry, cruelty, domestic violence and having extra marital affairs before the Media, where the applicant was also present.

The Magistrate has ignored the facts that the wife of the opposite party no 2 has made public disclosure about her personal family life and cruelty. She has also filed another FIR against the opposite party no 2 and his family members, Crime under sections 498-A, 377, 406, 323, 504, 506, IPC, at Police Station Goregaon, Mumbai on 25.06.2021. In both the cases charge sheets have been submitted. Nisha Rawal has also filed a divorce petition on 10.08.2021. Annoyed by the FIR lodged by Nisha Rawal, opposite party no 2 has filed the complaint against Nisha Rawal, the applicant and two others, just to put pressure and harass them.

Counsel for the applicant also contended that the entire incident has happened at Mumbai, but with malafide intention the complaint has been filed at Noida Court, which has no jurisdiction in the matter.

Additional Government Advocate for the State submitted that complaint has been filed by the opposite party no 2 with clear allegations against the applicant and others. Allegation of the complaint has been corroborated by the complainant himself and one witness produced. Satisfied with the material on record the Magistrate has summoned the applicant and others to face criminal trial. There is no illegality in the impugned summoning order.

The Court observed that the submission made by the counsel for the applicant requires consideration.

“Issue notice to opposite party no 2, returnable at an early date through Chief Judicial Magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar. Steps will be taken within three days.

Opposite party no 2, may file a counter affidavit within three weeks. Rejoinder affidavit, if any, may be filed within one week thereafter. List this case after four weeks in the additional cause list.

Till the next date of listing no coercive measure shall be adopted against the applicant in the aforesaid complaint case”, the Court ordered.

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