Adani defamation case: HC gives relief to Guha Thakurta

Gujarat HC relief to Guha Thakurta facing arrest in criminal defamtion case filed by Adani

The order came on Thakurta's petition that the arrest warrant had been ussed "straightway" without summons or bailable warrant

Representative image. Credit: Getty Images

In a relief to senior journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, the Gujarat high court on Thursday suspended till the next hearing an arrest warrant issued against him by a lower court in connection with a criminal defamation case filed by Adani Group in Kutch district. Thakurta has to remain present before the lower court, which had issued the warrant, on February 9th.

The single bench of justice B N Karia passed an order, stating that the "applicant (Thakurta) shall file an undertaking of remaining present before the trial court on the next date of hearing and thereafter whatever date would be fixed..." The order came on Thakurta's petition, filed by advovate Anand Yagnik, in which he submitted that the arrest warrant had been ussed "straightway" without issuing summons or bailable warrant.

On January 18, a judicial magistrate court of first class (JMFC), Mundra in Kutch had issued arrest warrant against Thakurta. He challenged the order in the high court arguing that without issuing summons and then bailable warrant, the lower court couldn't have directly issued non-bailable warrant to ensure his presence in the court. The petition stated that the order was issued at a time when the JMFC court was "closed".

Seeking relief, Thakurta said in the petition that he suffers from "diabetes, blood pressure and above all serious cardiac problems besides suffering from spondylitis and other arthritical issues." It mentions him making a submission that he was "ready and willing" to remain present in the concerned court at the earliest to face the trial. After assuring that he will be remain present in the court on February 9, the court suspended the arrest warrant till next hearing.

Thakurta is facing a criminal defamation case filed by Adani Power Ltd under various sections of Indian Penal Code including 500 (defamation), 109 (abetment), 120 -B (conspiracy) among others. The petition states that on January 4, Adani had moved an application for issuance of non-bailable warrant against Thakurta and on January 18, the arrest order was passed.