Eighteen years after a senior bureaucrat was defamed by publication of his “concocted” interview in a Delhi newspaper, a Lucknow court has upheld the conviction of the journalists behind it.
Additional district judge PN Srivastava dismissed the appeals of four persons, including two journalists against a 2007 order of the trial court which had found them guilty of defamation. The judge directed the magisterial court to issue non-bailable warrants against them.
In October 1994, an interview titled ‘Any man will rape a woman in a lonely spot: DM, Muzaffarnagar’ was published in the New Delhi and Lucknow editions of an English daily and a Hindi newspaper. The interview was of Anant Kumar Singh, then district magistrate of Muzaffarnagar, who was reported to have said that it was the human tendency of any man, when he sees a woman at a lonely place in the jungle, to rape her.
Alleging that the interview was concocted and aimed at defaming him, Singh filed three defamation cases at the district courts in Lucknow.
The magisterial court has awarded one year imprisonment to the reporter and fined him Rs.5000. It has awarded six-month-jail term with a fine of Rs. 2000 each to the other accused.