A local court on Monday ordered a police inquiry into the defamation suit filed against activist Teesta Setalvad by her former associate Rais Khan.
"Looking at the facts of the complaint it becomes imperative to order a police inquiry under the section 202 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)," Metropolitan Magistrate T S Brahmabhatt said in his order.
The magistrate has also directed a high ranking police officer to probe the allegations made by Rais Khan, who had worked with Setalvad in her NGO - Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP).
"It is felt that a high ranking officer conducts the inquiry and this court directs Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Zone-V to immediately start inquiry and submit the report within 60 days," Brahmabhatt noted in his order.
The DCP has to inquire whether any offences, as alleged, are made out against anyone or not, and if there is any offence then it is of what type and against whom.
In his complaint filed on June 20, under sections 499, 500 and 501 of IPC, Khan had claimed that Setalvad accused him of discrediting and harassing witnesses of different rioting cases, of deviant behaviour, having close ties with VHP and even having its patronage.
Citing contents of Communalizm Combat magazine, CJP's website and copy of SLP filed by Teesta in Supreme Court, he prayed to initiate appropriate process and to charge, try, adjudicate and punish the accused in accordance with law.
After 2002 Gujarat riots, CJP got involved in helping the riot victims and providing support in their legal battle.
Khan worked as a field co-coordinator for the NGO till 2008, when he was kicked out.
"Before initiating any further legal proceedings, it becomes necessary, in the interest of justice, to bring all the records and documents in relation to the allegations and it cannot be done by court inquiry, hence this order," said the magistrate in justification of ordering police probe.
In its order, the court has directed the police to conduct an inquiry against the editors and publishers of the "Communalizm Combat magazine", in which the alleged derogatory remarks against Khan were published.
"Alleged derogatory remarks were published in the magazine and on the website. Hence it is necessary to enquire journalists and publishers of the said magazine and website," the magistrate further noted.