Nation Live journalists granted bail in defamation case

Nation Live scribes Singh, Shukla and Kaushik have, however, not been released from the jail due to another case where they are accused of fraud

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Nation Live

Noida: Three journalists of Noida-based television news channel Nation Live, who were arrested for allegedly airing defamatory content against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, were on Wednesday granted bail in the defamation case by a local court, their lawyer said.

However, Nation Live scribes Ishika Singh, Anuj Shukla and Anshul Kaushik have not been released from the jail due to the order in another case of fraud and forgery still pending in the court, the lawyer said.

Singh and Shukla were arrested on 8 June and remanded in 14-days judicial custody, two days after the channel aired the controversial content allegedly defaming Adityanath without verifying its authenticity.

Kaushik was held on the night of 10 June in connection with the case.

Two FIRs were registered against them at the Phase 3 police station.

One of the FIRs was lodged under Sections 153 (promoting enmity between different groups), 501 (printing or engraving matter is known to be defamatory), 505 [1] (Whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report) and 505 [2] (statements conducing to public mischief).

The other FIR was registered under Sections 420 (fraud) and 467 (forgery of documents) of the IPC and related offences after it emerged that the channel was ìoperating illegallyî without having the ìrequisite permissionsîfrom the government to operate under the name Nation Live.

Their plea for bail was taken up by the District and Sessions Court in Surajpur today. They have been granted bail in the first case (related to defamation). The hearing in the second is still to take place. They are still in the jail,î Station House Officer, Phase 3 police station, Devendra Singh, said.

Lawyer Nitin Gupta, representing Shukla and Kaushik, said the hearing in the matters had begun on Tuesday and the judge heard arguments in both the cases–one for defamation and the other for illegal operation.

After hearing the arguments yesterday, the judge granted bail to all three of them in his order today. Due to some reasons, the order on todayís hearing of the second case could not be made. It will be made tomorrow, Gupta said.

Earlier, the premises of Nation Live in Sector 65 of Noida was sealed by the authorities under Section 151 of the CrPC while the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had issued a show-cause notice to the channel over illegal operations.