Newslaundry journo booked by UP police for report on alleged extortion by another scribe

An FIR was registered by the UP police despite law mandating that criminal defamation complaints must be filed with a judicial magistrate.
Newslaundry journalist Nidhi Suresh holds a microphone against a background a trees
Newslaundry journalist Nidhi Suresh holds a microphone against a background a trees
Written by:

Newslaundry journalist Nidhi Suresh has been booked for defamation by the UP police based on a complaint by News18 journalist Deep Srivatsava. According to Newslaundry, the FIR was registered by Sadar Bazar police in Shahjahanpur for a tweet put out by Nidhi. However, the FIR did not mention which tweet of Nidhi was allegedly defamatory. 

The FIR was registered under Sections 500 (punishment for defamation) and 501 (Printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory) of the IPC. However, criminal defamation is a non-cognizable offence as per the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC). This means that the police cannot register an FIR based on a criminal defamation complaint made directly by the complainant. The police is authorised to register an FIR only based on the direction of a judicial magistrate under section 200 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC). This means a complainant must approach a magistrate for criminal defamation complaints.  

According to Newslaundry, Nidhi had received a call on the morning of July 5 from the investigating officer asking her to record her statement in Shahjahanpur. Later in the day, she received another call asking her to make an in-person oral and written statement despite Nidhi saying she was in Delhi. 

The FIR comes days after Nidhi had reported on the case of Ayesha Alvi, a Hindu woman who had recently converted to Islam. Ayesha had moved the Delhi High Court alleging that she had been harassed by the media for her conversion to Islam. In her petition, Ayesha had listed one mobile number alleging that she had received a threat call from the individual, who extorted Rs 20,000 from her. “The first mobile call that I received was from 063******** and when he came he threatened that he will publish the news about my conversion and that I would get arrested and he demanded money from me and when we denied he threatened again. Thereafter he forcefully took 20 thousand rupees from us," Ayesha said in her petition to court.  

When Newslaundry’s Nidhi had contacted the number, the caller identified himself as Deep Srivatsava, a reporter with News18. Deep, however, denied the allegations that he had extorted money from Ayesha.  

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute