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HC relief to Hasan Gafoor in defamation case

March 11, 2011 20:39 IST
In a relief to former commissioner of police Hasan Gafoor, the Bombay High Court today stayed summons issued by a Chandigarh court against the senior cop in connection with a defamation complaint filed by the father of inspector general (Konkan region), Parambir Singh.

A metropolitan magistrate court in Chandigarh had issued summons to Gafoor  in January on a complaint filed by Hoshir Singh, Parambir's father, alleging that Gafoor, in an interview to a magazine in November 2009, had claimed that senior police officers including Parambir had refused to be part of the operation against terrorists during the 26/11 terror attacks.

Gafoor was directed to appear before the magistrate on March 15. The retired police official on Thursday approached the Bombay high court, challenging the summons stating that the complaint was filed with mala fide intentions, and that the Chandigarh court has no jurisdiction as the alleged offence had taken place in Mumbai.

"The issue of jurisdiction and whether there were any mala fide intentions behind the complaint needs to be decided. The summons are stayed until this is finally heard," a division bench comprising of Justices B H Marlapalle and U D Salvi observed.

Gafoor's petition has been admitted and would come up for hearing in due course of time. His counsel Rafiq Dada argued, "The complaint is mala fide. It is nothing but unnecessary harassment of a former top ranking officer, who is now a pensioner. Gafoor has the highest respect for other senior police officials who are like his brothers."

The lawyer further questioned as to why Gafoor was singled out and no action has been taken against the publication that printed the article. "The only thing that needs to be seen is whether defamation was caused and if harm was done. The summons was issued only after the court found prima facie case against Gafoor.

"Why should he be given special treatment?," Singh's advocate Prakash Naik and Subodh Desai said. In November 2009, a national magazine had quoted Gafoor as saying, "A section of senior police officials had refused to be on ground and take on the terrorists. By doing so they chose to ignore the need of the hour." Apart from Parambir, Gafoor had also named additional commissioner of police (crime), Deven Bharti.

Parambir's father, Hoshir Singh in his complaint said Gafoor's statement has defamed his family. Soon after the 26/11 attacks, Gafoor was removed from his post, and later made director general of the state anti corruption bureau. He retired in December 2010.
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