Delhi Court Rejects Zee Media’s Plea Against Non-Summoning Of Mahua Moitra In Criminal Defamation Case As Time Barred

first_imgNews UpdatesDelhi Court Rejects Zee Media’s Plea Against Non-Summoning Of Mahua Moitra In Criminal Defamation Case As Time Barred Akshita Saxena3 Dec 2020 9:20 AMShare This – xA Sessions Court in Delhi today dismissed Zee Media’s plea challenging a Magistrate’s order dated September 25, 2019, refusing to summon MP Mahua Moitra in a criminal defamation case, as time barred. The Additional Sessions Judge at the Rouse Avenue Court, Geetanjali Goel refused to allow the channel’s application for coronation of delay of 81 days in filing the review petition. The…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?LoginA Sessions Court in Delhi today dismissed Zee Media’s plea challenging a Magistrate’s order dated September 25, 2019, refusing to summon MP Mahua Moitra in a criminal defamation case, as time barred. The Additional Sessions Judge at the Rouse Avenue Court, Geetanjali Goel refused to allow the channel’s application for coronation of delay of 81 days in filing the review petition. The Judge said, “It is no doubt the settled law that the words “sufficient cause” in Section 5 of the Limitation Act should be given a liberal interpretation and the court should seek to do substantial justice but the law is also that the party has to show sufficient cause for delay to be condoned and the words contained in the statute cannot be given a go by and where the petitioner fails to show any sufficient cause for delay in filing the revision petition, the Court cannot only on the basis of a precocious plea of not being aware of the order of the Court which is also not substantiated and is rather contrary to the record, allow an application for condonation of delay. … but in the instant case, it cannot be said that the explanation for delay is proper or sufficient or that the delay had been satisfactorily or reasonably explained.” Reliance was placed on Delhi Development Authority v. RS Jindal and Anr. 2007 (99) DRJ 90, where it was held that “Delay in filing of an appeal has to be satisfactorily or reasonably explained…unless it is a case of gross negligence, the Courts are liberal in condoning delays where proper explanation and cause for the delay has been set out.” The channel had filed a criminal defamation against the AITC leader for referring to it as “uneducated” and “budbak” (stupid). The channel claimed that whereas company had only read the short order that she had been summoned, it obtained the detailed summoning order only during the COVID-19 period and after going through the same, found out that the Court had not summoned her. Accordingly, the Company’s authorized representative filed the present revision petition with a ‘bonafide’ delay of 81 days. It was claimed that irreparable harm would be caused if the delay was not condoned in terms of Section 5 of the Limitation Act. The application was opposed by Moitra who argued that there was inordinate and willful delay on the part of the Petitioner who had actively participated in the proceedings before the Trial Court after passing of the impugned order. She submitted that the application for condonation of delay is without merits as the delay of 81 days in filing the petition was wholly unexplained, and even otherwise it would appear that the delay in filing the petition was in fact more than 200 days. She further averred that the revision petition was an after-thought in as much as the same had been filed only after she preferred a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, challenging the summoning order before the Delhi High Court. The Court opined that the reasons for delay in the Company’s application were “entirely bereft of any particulars”. It noted, “It is not stated when the Authorized Representative obtained the detailed summoning order and found out that the Court had not summoned the accused/ respondent No.2 for certain defamatory words.” Further, it was not the case of the petitioner that the order was not available or that copy of the order was not supplied when applied for and in fact, copy of the order would have always been available on the website of the Trial Court. The Court also observed that “It is not even stated what was the occasion for the Authorized Representative to obtain the detailed summoning order during the COVID times which would in any case be after middle of March, 2020 whereas the order had been passed on 25.09.2019 making it six months or more after the passing of the impugned order.” In this backdrop the Court reiterated the principle laid down by the Apex Court in Esha Bhattacharjee v. Managing Committee of Raghunathpur Nafar Academy & Ors., (2013) 12 SCC 649, viz.: “An application for condonation of delay should be drafted with careful concern and not in a half hazard manner harboring the notion that the courts are required to condone delay on the bedrock of the principle that adjudication of a lis on merits is seminal to justice dispensation system.” However, in the present case, the Court observed that no explanation is forthcoming for any day’s delay whatsoever except for a general explanation which is sought to be put forth without being supported by any details. In view of the above, the Court held that the application for condonation of delay in filing the revision petition filed under Section 5 of the Limitation Act on behalf of the petitioner is without merit and is dismissed. It added, “In view of the dismissal of the application for condonation of delay, the revision petition would not survive and the same is also accordingly dismissed.” Case Title: Zee Media Corporation Ltd. v. State & Anr. Appearance: Advocates Vijay Aggarwal, Yugant Sharma and Samprikta Ghosal (for Petitioner); APP Manoj Garg (for State); Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa with Advocates Adit S Pujari, Chaitanya Sundriyal, Syed Arham Masud, and Raavi Sharma (for Respondent) Click Here To Download Order [Read Order]Next Storylast_img

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