Rajasthan HC grants interim protection to News 18 anchor Aman Chopra

The TV channel is accused of spreading misinformation, inciting communal disharmony shortly after the Jahangirpuri demolitions

Aman chopra

Rajasthan High Court granted interim protection from arrest to News 18 anchor Aman Chopra on May 7, 2022 in two out of three FIRs filed against his show that allegedly caused “communal disharmony”.

On April 22, Chopra in his show ‘Desh Jhukne Nahi Denge’ accused the Rajasthan police of destroying temples in Alwar to avenge the demolition drive in Jahangirpuri, Delhi. As per the court order, the discussion was also posted on Chopra’s Twitter account. The news piece is said to have caused communal disharmony and riots in the town on April 22.

Chopra said in his show, “It is such a big coincidence that two days after a bulldozer was used to demolish the gate of a mosque in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, three temples were demolished in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. One of the temples is 300 years old. Is this a mere coincidence or are these events interconnected? Is this revenge for Jahangirpuri?”

Consequently, Alt News fact-checked the temples in question to have been demolished days before the Jahangirpuri incident. As such, the fact-checking website concluded that the channel misled the people.

Accordingly, three FIRs were lodged against Chopra in Dungarpur, Alwar and Bundi. However, on May 7, senior advocate V.R. Bajwa appealed that Chopra not be arrested for the latter orders.

“The criminal investigation of subsequent two FIRs must not be allowed to proceed with as lodged maliciously just to harass the petitioner. Reliance has been placed on the judgment of the Supreme Court in T.T. Antony Vs. State of Kerala & Ors. reported in (2001) 6 Supreme Court Cases 181, Babu Bhai Vs. State of Gujarat & Ors. reported in (2010) 12 SCC 254 and Arnab Ranjan Goswami Vs. Union of India & Ors. reported in (2020) 14 SCC 12,” said the order.

Still, the Rajasthan police went to Chopra’s house in Noida on the same day of the order, based on the Dungarpur FIR. The journalist was absconding. The following day, the police sent out a team to arrest Chopra.

According to Scroll, the Uttar Pradesh police did not cooperate with its Rajasthan counterpart in apprehending the accused. Superintendent of Police Sudhir Joshi told PTI that this was Rajasthan police’s second attempt to arrest Chopra. However, both times, a UP sub-inspector stalled officers on the pretext of details. Speaking to the Scroll, the UP police refuted this claim.


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