J&K High Court stays FIR proceedings against TOI reporter Saleem pandit

J&K High Court stays FIR proceedings against TOI reporter Saleem pandit
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Srinagar, Apr 23: Jammu and Kashmir high court on Monday stayed the proceedings of the FIR registered against M Saleem Pandit, TOI Reporter in police station Kothi Bagh under section 505 (1)b RPC dated April 3, 2018 , by ten local travel agencies for publishing ,what they called as “fake news item” on April 1 and 2 despite proofs provided thereof, only next day in the newspaper itself.
Justice M K Hanjura on Monday hearing the plea of the advocate Javid Iqbal on behalf of the petitioner entertained the main petition for quashing the FIR, while issuing notices to the state respondents, the hon’ble justice Hanjura stayed the proceedings of the FIR and directed the respondents SHO and Investigating officer to file objections on next date of hearing on May 29, 2018.
Advocate Javid Iqbal said that no offence has been committed by the accused which is made out on plain reading of the complaint and the FIR .The petitioner’s case is covered by the exemption appended to section 505 RPC, as such no offence is either made out or constituted . The court while agreeing with the submissions made by the counsel entertained the petition for the quashment of FIR and issued notices to the state respondents. The court while displaying indulgence stayed proceedings of the FIR.
In a serious attack on the freedom of press, Jammu and Kashmir police on April 2 had registered a first information report (FIR) against TOI’s Srinagar correspondent M Saleem Pandit for his news report about stone-pelting attacks on tourist vehicles that left four women injured on Sunday, April1, 2018 .
The police filed an FIR on the basis of a complaint submitted by 10 local travel agencies who alleged that Pandit’s report was “false and written with “malicious intention to disrupt the peaceful tourist season” in Kashmir.
Interestingly, the police had itself admitted that two tourists had been injured “because the vehicles came in the middle of an area where pelting was going on.” The police denied that the tourists were targeted but came under stone pelting while they were traveling, leaving two tourists injured.