Court rejects Law Minister’s plea on recording statement

‘Mere Threat Perception Cannot Justify His Exemption From Appearing In Person’

2004 DEFAMATION CASE

D A RASHID

Srinagar, Dec 17: A court here Monday rejected application of the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar seeking his exemption from appearing before it for recording statement. Sagar had filed a defamation case against the Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti in 2004.    
 The Court of Sub-Judge Passenger Tax Srinagar, Ashwani Kumar, rejected the application on the grounds that Sagar being a minister “has not a restricted movement and is attending official business and holding public rallies [Sic].”
 “Being a principal witness in the case, Sagar cannot claim immunity from attending the court for recording the statement,” the Court said.
 Rejecting the plea seeking issuance of Commission for recording the statement, the Court held that the statement of the complainant was to be recorded in the court itself and not on the basis of the Commission.
 The Counsel for Mehbooba Mufti, Advocate Jawad Reshi had contended before the Court that “a mere threat perception cannot justify the exemption of the minister from appearing before the court to record his statement.” 
 “He is attending his office, addressing public rallies. So how can a threat perception get him exemption to appear before the court for recording his statement?” the Counsel had argued.
 The Court had on December 8 reserved orders on an application moved by Sagar in his defamation case against Mehbooba Mufti wherein he had sought issuance of Commission under CrPC for recording the statement.
 Counsels representing Sagar argued that under section 503 of CrPC, the complainant can record his statement before a Commission.
 In 2004, Sagar had filed a complaint before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar alleging that Mehbooba Mufti had damaged his image by giving defamatory statements against him. The Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate had committed the case to Passenger Tax Court Srinagar.
 Sagar had alleged in the complaint that Mehbooba Mufti had defamed him publicly saying that he was carrying bogus voters from booth to booth to cast their votes in NC’s favour and an FIR no. 22 was registered against him in police station Khanyar. Sagar had stated in the compliant that he was also accused of being involved in burning of Nawa Kadal Bridge.
 Advocates Rafiq Ahmad Bakshi, M A Chashoo, Muhammad Ashraf Thakur and Shuja Tantray represented Sagar.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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