SC extends protection from coercive action against TV anchor in defamation cases

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended the protection from any coercive action against TV news anchor Amish Devgan in cases lodged over his alleged defamatory remark against Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti during a show.

A bench comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna, meanwhile, asked the counsel for Devgan to complete the pleadings in the case by serving copies of the petition to those who had filed complaints against the journalist in various states.

Senior advocate Sidhharth Luthra and lawyer Mrinal Bharti appeared for the news anchor in the hearing conducted through video link by the court, which extended the relief granted on June 26 to Devgan till further orders.

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Presently, five FIRs have been lodged against Devgan in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Telangana for using a derogatory term for the Sufi saint in the news debate show called Aar Paar’ on his channel on June 15.

However, he later tweeted an apology saying that he was actually referring to Muslim ruler Alauddin Khilji and inadvertently ended up naming Chisti.

Devgan moved the top court seeking stay on the probe in criminal cases besides seeking their quashing.

The top court had stayed the pending or future probes in the case against the journalist by police agencies till today.

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