A local court on Thursday reserved for December 13 its order on admitting a criminal defamation suit filed by suspended Gujarat IAS officer Pradeep Sharma against columnist-activist Madhu Kishwar with regard to the snooping scandal.
In her tweets and during debates, Kishwar had alleged the senior bureaucrat was harassing the woman due to which her father asked for police protection. The suit filed last week has sought initiation of criminal proceedings against Kishwar.
Sharma has alleged Kishwar dragged his name in the scandal and tried to tarnish his image through comments on microblogging site Twitter and also TV channels.
The court is to decide if the matter falls under its authority. Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate HG Pandya heard arguments by Sharma's counsel regarding the jurisdiction of the matter and reserved its order for December 13.
Citing judgements delivered by High Courts across the country and also Supreme Court, his counsel Shamsad Pathan said the nature of offence was discovered here. Also, the effect of comments made on television channels and twitter account had local jurisdiction.
Sharma has alleged Kishwar had made derogatory comments against him on her twitter account and during debates on news channels on the issue of alleged surveillance of a woman architect on orders of the then Minister of State for Home Amit Shah, a key aide of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Two investigative news portals, Cobrapost.com and Gulail.com have claimed, on the basis of taped conversation, that Shah had ordered the illegal surveillance at the behest of one "Saheb" in 2009.
Sharma is facing six criminal cases in Gujarat. The 1984-batch IAS officer has claimed he was being victimised by the BJP government in Gujarat for his knowledge of the "intimacy" shared by Modi with the architect.
Gujarat government has appointed a two-member commission to inquire into the scandal.