The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the criminal defamation proceedings against India Today group founder Aroon Purie.
A bench headed by chief justice N.V. Ramana and comprising justices Surya Kant and Justice Aniruddha Bose issued notice on the plea filed by Purie challenging the Delhi High Court order refusing to quash the defamation case against him, and also issued an interim order of stay. “Notice and interim stay”, said the bench.
The bench queried senior advocate Amit Desai, representing Purie, why he can’t apply for discharge before the criminal court. Desai submitted that the Supreme Court has held in the KM Mathew case that there is no presumption against a chief editor and added that the complainant himself has said that he is not aware of the role of a chief editor.
The Delhi High Court had refused to quash a criminal defamation complaint and summoning order against Purie in connection with an article published in India Today magazine in 2007. The news article ‘Mission Misconduct’ had reported on allegations against the then Indian deputy consul general in Edinburgh.