A defamation case was lodged against Mr Vinod Dua in relation to his YouTube show. Additional Sessions Judge Vineeta Goyal granted anticipatory bail to the senior journalist.
Brief Facts of the Case
Vinod Dua is a reputed senior journalist and a Padma Shri Awardee. An FIR was registered by BJP spokesperson Naveen Kumar. Pushp Vihar Crime Branch registered an FIR No. 74/2020 under Sections 290, 505, and 505(2) of the IPC. He alleged him of ‘creating public nuisance’ on June 4. Accordingly, he accused Mr Dua of spreading ‘fake news’ through this YouTube show ‘The Vinod Dua Show’.
Laxmi Nagar police station lodged the complaint. Mr Kumar has alleged Mr Dua of committing various offences. He accused him of creating public nuisance & mischief, along with printing and engraving defamatory matters. Additionally, he accused him of intentional insult to provoke breach of peace and statements conducting to public mischief. Moreover, he included other cognizable offence punishable under various sections of IPC and IT Act.
The complaint stated that Mr Dua has lied or has misinformed his viewers about the series of events. It alleged that he made a series of unfounded allegations against the government, police and political leaders. Additionally, it contended that the reporting is full of false content and has a misleading context.
Under these circumstances, the petitioner made an anticipatory bail application in the said case.
Arguments by the Petitioner
Advocates Sandeep Deshmukh and Vatsalya Vigya appeared on behalf of the petitioner. They argued that the petitioner has a right to freedom of expression and speech. They further informed the Court about the medical health of Mr Dua, a 66-year-old man. The COVID-19 situation has worsened his condition more. Moreover, the council assured that the petitioner was willing to cooperate with the police.
Arguments by the Respondent
Additional Public Prosecutor Anil Kumar appeared on behalf of the State. He opposed the anticipatory bail application. He said the matter was at the initial stage of an investigation. Hence, the Investigating Officer (herein, IO) were yet to collect relevant records from YouTube.
However, police officer Kamal Kumar Yadav had a different opinion. He was the IO in the said case. He informed the Court that they did not require custodial interrogation. Nor was any recovery to be affected by Dua.
The Court directed the applicant to cooperate with the IO during the investigation. It also directed the IO, to not take any coercive steps against the applicant till the next hearing dates.
Accordingly, the court granted anticipatory bail to the applicant. It enlisted the matter for hearing next on June 29.
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