New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to stay the trial court`s summons to three Army officers on Lt General (Retd) Tejinder Singh`s criminal defamation complaint accusing them of misusing their official positions and power to level false allegations against him.
Disposing of the pleas of Vice Chief of Army Staff SK Singh, Major General SL Narshiman and Lt Col Hitten Sawhney against the trial court, Justice Bhasin asked the three officers to raise before the magisterial court their contentions that prior sanctions for their prosecution was not obtained.
Justice PK Bhasin said, "The court disposed of the petition after the counsel for both parties agreed that the issue of sanction under 197 CrPC can be allowed to be raised by the petitioner before the magistrate, where the matter is pending."
The court also clarified in its order that the magistrate can hear the issue of sanction after the petitioners appear before it on the date fixed by it.
"The court clarified that the magistrate shall decide their application on the question of sanction (to be) raised by the petitioners after they appear before it, in accordance with law without being influenced by the order passed by this court..."
The court also granted liberty to the petitioners to seek appropriate remedy if the magistrate refuses to hear their pleas or passes any adverse order against them.
"...If the trial court itself feels that it cannot reconsider the issue in accordance with the law...The parties are at liberty to seek legal remedy against the trial court`s conclusion," the court said.