HC stays arrest of web journalist in case lodged by Azam Khan

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday stayed the arrest of the editor of a news portal against whom Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan had lodged a defamation case.

 Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday stayed the arrest of the editor of a news portal against whom Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan had lodged a defamation case.

A division bench comprising justices V K Shukla and Shashi Kant yesterday stayed the arrest of Munendra Sharma, editor of 'PardaPhash.Com', against whom Samajwadi Party leader Khan had lodged an FIR on August 14 at Ganj police station of his native district Rampur.

The court asked the state government to file its counter-affidavit within six weeks.

In the FIR, lodged under sections of the IPC relating to defamation as also the Information Technology Act, Sharma had been accused of defaming Khan by publishing a news item on August 12 based on a speech given by the SP leader in the year 2009 wherein he had made a number of adverse remarks against the party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Significantly, in 2009, Khan had been expelled from the party for six years for alleged anti-party activities though his expulsion was revoked a year later.

The petitioner had contended that no offence could be made out against him as the veracity of the report was not being challenged and that Khan's objections were mainly with regard to the timing of the news item.  

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