In the wake of a political turmoil after arrest of a leader of opposition party in Lok Sabha on 3rd January, 2017, a national debate was held and telecast by a national channel, named, NDTV 24X7. The said debate was anchored by one Ms. Barkha Dutta and titled as “The Buck Stops Here”. In the aid debate the petitioner, an elected MP and the then ruling party of the Central Government and the opposite party No. 2, an elected member of Legislative Assembly of the State of West Bengal and National Spokesperson on behalf of her political party at the relevant point of time took part in the discussion. In course of such debate, when the opposite party No.2 was opposing the petitioner’s contention, he made a comment, “Mohua , are you on Mohua?”
According to opposite party No.2 the said comment was derogatory alluding of the intoxicating liquor called Mohua which is drunk in many tribal areas in India. She also alleged that the petition made such comment at the fage end of the programme. The opposite party could not raise any protest against the said remark. However, the anchor of the programme immediately reprimanded the petitioner and asked him not to make any personal remark in course of debate.
According to the opposite party 2 such remark made by the petitioner against her caused great offence and distress and was clearly a violation of Section 509 of the Indian penal Code. The said comment is patently untrue, false and made to maliciously defame her in clear violation of Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code. The opposite party no. 2 accordingly lodged an FIR against the petitioner before the officer in charge, Alipore P.S. Police registered Alipore P.S. Case No.2 dated 4th January 2017 under section 509 of the Indian Penal Code and commenced investigation of the case. On Completion of investigation the charge sheet was submitted against the petitioner under Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code. The learned chief Judicial Magistrate took cognizance of the offence and issued warrant of arrest against the petitioner.
Vide order dated 23rd March 2017, the aforesaid application under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which was registered as CRR 903 of 2017 was admitted for hearing and stay for further proceeding of the criminal case being CGR 62 of 2017 was granted for a limited period of time. It is further ascertained from the order dated 28th April 2017, that the opposite party No.2 made an application prying for vacating the interim order. The said application was directed to be treated as an affidavit of opposition to the revision petition and directed to be disposed of along with the instant revision. Finally the aforesaid criminal revision is heard by this court on the basis of specific determination allotted to this court by the chief Justice of the Court in terms of the last order passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay vs. Union of India.
In the view of the discussion the instant criminal revision under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is allowed on contest, however without cost. The connected applications are also disposed of. However the opposite party No.2 is at liberty to take any action according to law, if available to her against the petitioner before the appropriate forum and in such case, the learned court below will take appropriate steps without being influenced or swayed over by any observation made by this court in this judgment.