Providing information about Lokayukta activities not defamatory, even if charges later prove incorrect: HC
news Sunday, June 08, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | May 26,2014 | 8.27 am IST The Karnataka High Court has ruled at the Lokayukta briefing the media about an ongoing investigation does not amount to defamation, even if the charges are later found to be incorrect. According to a report published by The New Indian Express (Senior Cop Loses Defamation Suit Against Hegde), the order comes in response to a petition filed by Joint Commissioner of Police (CCB) Hemant Nimbalkar against the then Lokayukta N Santhosh Hegde and then Additional Director-General of Police Roopesh Datta. The High Court said that Section 15 (4) of the Lokayukta Act empowers the Lokayukta to issue press statements and that the law did not prohibit the Lokayukta from sharing information provided to him by subordinates. Nimbalkar had alleged that due to the raids conducted at his house in March 2009, and subsequent press briefings, he and his family had suffered psychologically. Nimbalkar was then the Superintendent of Police in Belgaum. Hegde had at the time informed the media that Nimbalkar owner assets worth Rs. 250 crore, which was disproportionate to his known sources of income. In the Special Lokayukta court in Belgaum, the Lokayukta filed a B report, according to The New Indian Express. After the charges were proved incorrect, Nimbalkar approached the courts, filing defamation suits against Hegde and Datta. However, the Magistrateās court in Belgaum and later the High Court, both dismissed his petition.
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