The Delhi High Court has issued notice in a plea seeking the transfer of senior journalist Barkha Dutt’s criminal complaint against Member of Parliamnet and Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal to the Special MP/MLA Court. (Barkha Dutt vs Analog Media)
A Single Judge Bench of Justice Anup J Bhambhani issued notice to Dutt in the transfer petition which was taken up after an Office Note was moved by the District & Sessions Judge, Patiala House Court.
Last year, Dutt had filed a complaint against Kapil Sibal, Promila Sibal and their TV network company, Analog Media for an alleged commission of offence under Section 420 IPC read with Section 120B IPC.
The complaint arose from the untimely shutting down of Analog Media’s Tiranga TV, a news channel.
Dutt, who was hired as the Consulting Editor and Anchor, asserted that there was “absolutely no intention of running the channel as a professionally managed entity”.
Claiming that the goal of the channel was to be a part of the Congress Party’s publicity machinery in the run up to the 2019 elections, Dutt submitted,
“Once the said endeavour failed, the employees including the Complainant were conveniently thrown under the bus in contravention of the assurances tendered.”
Dutt, in her complaint, has alleged breach of contractual obligations and the assurances tendered to her qua the viability of running the channel even after General Elections 2019.
While the complaint was filed before the Metropolitan Magistrate, Patiala House Court, subsequently, an application as moved to transfer the same to the competent court ie. Special MP/MLA Court at Rouse Avenue.
Pursuant to the application, an Office Note was sent by the District & Sessiosn Judge, Patiala House Court to the High Court seeking an order to the effect.
District & Sessiosn Judge, Patiala House Court stated that since a transfer to the Special MP/MLA Court would be an inter-sessions division transfer, it could only be done by the High Court.
The complaint is at the pre-summoning stage and was filed through Advocates Raghav Awasthi and Mukesh Sharma.
Matter would be heard next on November 2.