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Khosla files Rs 50 cr criminal suit vs magistrate who allegedly defamed him in her order

Advocate Deepak Khosla, who complained to Delhi high court chief justice (CJ) G Rohini yesterday against metropolitan magistrate Niti Phutela’s recusal and transfer of his case to another judge, has filed a criminal defamation case against Phutela in the Saket district court, asking for Rs 50 crore in damages.

Khosla is representing former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti in the case against him over the midnight raid and arrest of Ugandan women. Phutela was hearing arguments on 3 November in this case.

Khosla had complained to the CJ that Phutela had recorded in her order that he had used “unparliamentary language” and was “insulting the court” whereas he had only asked her to record his submissions “verbatim” and “not in the unusual sort of English that she was resorting to”. Phutela

He has now filed a criminal complaint against the magistrate, stating:

The accused made certain averments in the order dated 3-11-2014 which are patently defamatory, statements which, as per her own knowledge, are false. The said statements have tarnished the reputation of the complainant and damaged his social standing and goodwill in society. These malicious, vexatious, false and incorrect statements were made with a sole motive to malign the fine professional and personal standing and image of the complainant in his professional, social and personal circles, and to cause him to suffer material and personal/mental injury and anguish thereto, thus, giving rise to Cause of Action to the complainant against this accused.

[…] while it was always open to her to have referred the matter to the Hon’ble Delhi High Court under Section 15(2) of the Contempt of Courts Act, and/or have administratively referred the incident to Hon’ble the chief justice of the Delhi High Court, she, however, had no authority/jurisdiction to set out such remarks in her “supplementary” order specially dictated by her for this defamatory purpose. All the more so when the matter in relation to which she set pit the remarks, as per her now stand taken in the first order passed on 3-11-2014 stood closed.

The case is listed for hearing in Saket at 2pm on Friday, said Khosla.

After Phutela recused herself, another magistrate yesterday transferred the matter back to the chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) again, after Khosla wanted an earlier hearing date than the magistrate was able to offer.

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