Naeem seeks quashment of defamation case
Files petition in HC
Srinagar, Mar 4: The High Court Friday deferred the hearing of the petition by Peoples Democratic Party spokesperson Naeem Akthar seeking quashment of the defamation case against him in the trial court.
Akhtar filed a petition before High Court through Advocate Altaf Haqani seeking quashment of criminal charges against him in a defamation suit filed by the state government.
The state government last year filed a defamation suit against the opposition PDP legislator Nizamuddin Bhat and chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar for accusing Chief Minister Omar Abdullah of receiving kickbacks in allotting Rattle hydroelectric project.
The petition was admitted and heard by Justice Hasnain Masoodi.
Akhtar’s counsel while arguing that his client was not involved in any defamation case said, “The defamation complaint is in abuse of process of court and is defeating the ends of justice.”
He said the state government provided the story titled “Omar got Rs 500 crore kickback in Rattle Power Project: PDP” in Greater Kashmir as evidence of defamation before the court.
Quoting the news report, Haqani contested that his client was not involved in any defamation while going through whole news report.
However, the Additional Advocate General, A M Magray opposed the petition and said notice should not be issued to state government in the case. He prayed that the petition should be dismissed.
Court after hearing both the sides deferred the case for hearing next week.
On Feb 4, Principle District and Sessions Court directed the Inspector General of Police, Kashmir to execute the warrant against the PDP legislature Nizam-ud-din Bhat and Dr. Fayaz Shawl and submit the compliance report.
The trial court also directed PDP’s chief spokesperson Naeem Akhtar, who is out on bail, to be present in person on next hearing.
In another case of similar nature filed on behalf of Minister of State for Tourism and Urban Development, Nasir Aslam Wani, the court had slapped a bailable warrant in an amount of Rs 20,000 against renowned cardiologist Dr Fayaz Shawl and sent the same for execution to IGP Kashmir.
State government has sought trial of the PDP leaders under Sections 499 (defamation) and 500 of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), read with Section 198-B of Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Procedure Code for levelling "false and baseless" accusations against Omar that he received kickbacks to the tune of Rs 500 crore.
On August 25, 2010, PDP leader Nizam-ud-Din Bhat accompanied by others at a press briefing had accused the CM of having received Rs 500 crore as kickbacks in the Ratle power project besides constructing Rs 20 crore worth private residence at the cost of public exchequer.
The party alleged that Omar had made one-time withdrawal of Rs 26 crore from the chief minister’s secret fund without accountability and even accused him of shifting architectural grandeur from the famed Toshkhana here to his residential house.
Bhat had claimed that Dr Shawl’s hopes of setting up a hospital in his hometown in Srinagar had been shattered by the state government. He had accused government of scuttling his project at the last minute.
Shawl had alleged that junior Housing and Urban Development Minister in the Omar Abdullah Government, Nasir Aslam Wani initially gave approval for the project but just before the work was to commence in the first week of June 2010, he was told that construction was barred on that site.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 4 Mar 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 4 Mar 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 5 Mar 2011 00:00:00 IST
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