Victory for press freedom: SC dismisses defamation plea against Andhra Jyothi
The apex court says there’s nothing defamatory about the news report by Andhra Jyothi on Jagan Mohan Reddy’s meeting with PM Modi.
In a victory for press freedom, the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a defamation plea filed against Amoda Publications, which prints Telugu newspaper Andhra Jyothi for allegedly bringing disrepute to YSR Congress President YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. The plea was filed by YSR Congress party MLA Alla Rama Krishna Reddy.
The petition which was reviewed by the apex court said that there was nothing defamatory about the news report, which he had submitted as evidence.
In May 2017, Andhra Jyothi had carried an article claiming that the YSR Congress chief did not meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the intention of highlighting the plight of chilli farmers in the state or over the defections allegedly engineered Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. The paper had claimed that Jagan Mohan Reddy had met the PM allegedly to discuss being relieved from the Disproportionate Assets case, which the CBI is investigating.
Taking objection to this ‘wrong’ reportage, which brought disrepute to his party and their leader, Mangalagiri MLA, Rama Krishna Reddy filed a plea with the 17th Metropolitan Magistrate in Hyderabad.
However, the plea was quashed by the court, following which Rama Krishna had approached the apex court. But the MLA faced a setback as the SC dismissed the petition on Monday.
The Mangalagiri MLA had earlier in 2017 also moved to Supreme Court demanding that the cash-for-vote scam be transferred to the CBI. This after the High Court dismissed his petition stating that he did not have any locus standi in the case. In the scam, Chandrababu Naidu was allegedly caught giving a bribe to a TRS candidate.
In Andhra Pradesh both Andhra Jyothi and Eenadu are accused of often being biased and acting as mouth piece for TDP- the ruling dispensation. To counter this, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has set up his own media house Sakshi.