An FIR has been lodged at Ramnagar Police Station by Varanasi resident, Mala Devi, against Supriya Sharma, Executive Editor of Scroll.in as well as Editor in Chief of Scroll.in, for misrepresentation of statements made by her during the interview with Supriya Sharma.
The police registered a case under Section 501 of IPC, i.e., printing or engraving matter is known to be defamatory, and Section 269 of IPC, i.e., a negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life.
According to the FIR, Sharma claimed Mala as a domestic worker who faced hunger during lockdown to which Mala stated in the FIR that she is a sanitation worker at Varanasi Municipality and neither she faced any hunger nor any difficulty during the lockdown and the statements made in the publication was defamatory and hurt her sentiments and reputation in the society. To which Supriya Sharma rebutted and mentioned that the publication was made in the interest of the public to highlight the conditions of certain persons.
But the Allahabad High Court safeguarded the Executive Editor as well as the Editor in Chief of Scroll.in against any arrest.
The Two judge bench consisting of Justice Manoj Mishra and Anil Kumar-IX stated that as the petitioner claims that they have an audio recording of that interview and the same was reflected in the publication, therefore, they come to the conclusion to dispose off the petition by mentioning that the investigation shall continue whereas arrest shall not take place till the submission of a police report under Section 173 (2) CrPC directing to cooperate with the police in the investigation.
However, the Judges refused to quash the FIR stating the it alleges the commission of cognizable offence.
Whereas earlier Scroll.in has stated that the FIR was made against them to silent an individual journalist on the worst conditions of these vulnerable groups during this pandemic.