The Telegraph
Saturday , July 4 , 2015

Defamation circular climbdown for Kejri

New Delhi, July 3: The Arvind Kejriwal government today told the Supreme Court it was willing to withdraw a controversial circular issued by the AAP administration to allow defamation cases against media houses for adverse news reports.

Ironically, the Delhi government claimed that the objective of the circular was to prevent the misuse of the defamation law under Sections 499/500 of the IPC and provide safeguards against its abuse.

"In the event this honourable court is of the view that the circular is contrary to the law or otherwise unnecessary, the government respectfully submits that the same will be withdrawn," the four-page affidavit filed by P.K. Dabas, the deputy director in the Delhi government's directorate of information and publicity, said.

On May 14, the bench of Justices Dipak Misra and P.C. Pant had castigated the Delhi government for issuing the circular and sought an explanation on why it was released since Kejriwal himself as chief minister had in another petition before the Supreme Court wanted quashing of IPC Sections 499/500, claiming them to be unconstitutional.

The Delhi government today told the apex court that the circular merely "outlines the procedure to deal with instances of defamation and imputations covered under Section 499/500 of the IPC against the Hon'ble Chief Minister, Hon'ble Ministers and various other functionaries of the Government of NCT of Delhi".

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