HC relief to Hasan Gafoor in defamation case

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Court Hammer
Mumbai, Mar 11: 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 in Jan this year issued summons to Gafoor on a complaint filed by Hoshir Singh alleging that Gafoor, in an interview to a magazine in Nov 2009, claimed that senior police officers including Parambir had refused to be part of the operation against terrorists during the 26/11 terror attack.

Gafoor was directed to appear before the magistrate on March 15. The retired police official yesterday approached the Bombay High Court challenging the summons stating that the complaint was filed with malafide 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 was any malafide intentions behind the complaint needs to be decided.

The summons are stayed until this is finally heard," a division bench 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.

Gafoor's counsel Rafiq Dada argued, "The whole complaint is malafide. 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 singularly targeted and no action has been taken against the publication, which 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 special treatment be given to him," Singh's advocate Prakash Naik and Subodh Desai said.

Gafoor had in an article published in a national magazine in Nov 2009 said, "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 taken the name of additional commissioner of police, Crime, Deven Bharti. Parambir's father, Hoshir Singh in his complaint said his family has been defamed by Gafoor's statement.

Soon after the Nov 26, 2008 attacks, Gafoor was removed from the post of commissioner of police and later made Director General of the state Anti Corruption Bureau. He retired in Dec 2010.

PTI

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