HC notice to Gujarat govt on defamation case against Setalvad



Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court on Friday issued notice to the state government on a petition filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad challenging lower court's order to investigate a defamation case against her.

Justice RH Shukla also issued notice to Setalvad's former associate Rais Khan, who has filed the defamation case against her, and directed to file affidavits in reply by November 2, the next date of hearing.

Setalvad's petition, filed through advocate Kalpesh Shastri, claims that ongoing investigation exceeds the scope of Criminal Procedure Code provision under which the magistrate ordered it.

Apart from seeking quashing of magistrate's order to investigate, Setalvad has said what the court ordered to investigate has nothing to do with the alleged defamation, as court has also directed the police to carry out probe against publishers and editors of the magazine 'Communalism Combat'.

Metropolitan Magistrate T S Brahmabhatt, on July 23, had directed Deputy Commissioner of Police Zone-V to conduct probe upon Khan's complaint.

Khan had claimed that Setalvad accused him of discrediting and harassing witnesses of 2002 riot cases. She also accused him of having close ties with VHP and enjoying its patronage, which amounted to defamation, he said.

Setalvad had requested the HC to stay the investigation until the petition was decided, but the court refused, said Khan's lawyer advocate Manisha Lavkumar.

PTI