Providing relief to former additional director, Punjab information and public relations department, Jagdip Singh Chowhan, additional district and sessions judge Atul Kasana on Wednesday accepted his appeal, challenging the dismissal of a defamation case he had filed against Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and 14 others, seeking damages of Rs 2.14 crore for “malicious prosecution”.
Turning down the trial court’s order that said that the defamation suit had been filed late by two days, the court has ordered retrial in the case that will begin on May 21.
Chowhan’s suit seeking damages for defamation was dismissed in February 2014 by judicial magistrate Navjeet Kaur on the grounds of it being time-barred.
Chowhan had filed a civil suit against the chief minister and 14 others, including the Punjab government, claiming damages of Rs 2.14 crore for “falsely implicating him” in a case.
Chowhan in his petition had said that in 1998, the government headed by Badal had decided to produce a film ‘The Khalsa’ depicting the formation of the Khalsa Panth. Chowhan, who held the post of the additional director and was looking after the film division section of the public relations department, was “falsely implicated” under the Prevention of Corruption Act and under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC in 2000 by the vigilance bureau, Punjab, alleging that he had favoured film producer Mangal Dhillon and received pecuniary benefits from him, causing a loss to the state exchequer.
Chowhan said the petition seeking damages was filed in 2001 after he was discharged in the case.