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The Delhi High Court today granted exemption from personal appearance to journalist Arnab Goswami till March 15, in a defamation case filed by a lawyer before a Delhi court.
A Single Judge Bench of Justice RK Gauba was hearing Goswami’s plea to quash the summons issued to him by Delhi’s Patiala House Court in Advocate Vikram Chauhan’s defamation case against him and several other media personalities.
The defamation case pertains to remarks made by Goswami during a TV debate on the violence that took place at the Patiala House Court complex in the aftermath of the alleged anti-national sloganeering at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in 2016.
On February 15, 2016, when accused Kanhaiya Kumar was brought before the Patiala House Court for his remand, a mob which included several lawyers beat up Kumar and several journalists.
The situation continued on February 17, when the concerned Magistrate was forced to conduct the proceedings in his chamber due to security concerns.
The incident, caught on camera, showed being Chauhan as part of the mob.
Subsequently, India Today conducted a sting operation, which showed Chauhan confessing to brutally beating up Kanhaiya Kumar.
It was against this background that the TV debate was conducted by Goswami.
During the show, Goswami resorted to calling Chauhan a ‘hooligan’ and ‘goonda’, which Chauhan alleges are defamatory in nature.
Aggrieved by the utterances, Chauhan filed defamation cases against Goswami as well as others.
Since matters connected to the incident were pending before another co-ordinate bench, Justice Gauba directed that the present case should also be transferred to that Bench.
“Present petition ought to be heard by the same Bench. Be listed on 15.03.2019, subject to the order of the Chief Justice“, he said.
Goswami was represented by Advocate Siddharth Agarwal.
Chauhan was represented by Advocate Vijay Agarwal.