PDP leader Naeem Akhtar had filed defamation case against Goswami and four staffers of Republic TV
SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court has stayed proceedings of a trial court against Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, and three reporters of the channel in a defamation case filed by People’s Democratic Party leader Nayeem Akhtar in 2018.
Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta gave Akhtar four weeks to respond on why the case should not be quashed. The date of the next hearing is April 15.
Earlier, court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar had issued non-bailable warrants against the four journalists on February 23 following their failure to appear before the court.
The defamation case was filed last year against Goswami, Republic’s J&K bureau chief Zeenat Zeeshan Fazil, former senior editor Aditya Raj Kaul and anchor Sakal Bhatt by Akhtar who claimed Republic had broadcast a “defamatory and malicious” segment and had tarnished his reputation.
The segment in question was based on a letter by then Vice Chairperson of J&K Project Construction Corporation, Sheikh Khalid Jehangir, who is also accused in Akhtar’s defamation complaint. In his letter to then J&K Governor NN Vohra, Jehangir had levelled allegations of corruption against a certain “Works Minister”. Akhtar’s complaint said he was named “intentionally and deliberately” during the June 21 broadcast by Kaul and Bhatt.