Jaipur: In a relief for former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot’s media manager Lokendra Singh, the Rajasthan High Court has stayed any coercive action against him after he was booked for putting out “fake news" about Congress MLAs’ phones being tapped during the political crisis in the state. Two journalists including Singh were booked by the Jaipur Police for allegedly putting out fake news in August during the power tussle between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his former deputy Pilot.
The FIR, lodged with Vidhayakpuri Police Station, was registered on October 1 against Sharat Kumar of Rajasthan Tak (Aaj Tak) and Singh of XYZ news agency. Singh is associated with Pilot and handles his press releases on social media. During the hearing on Friday, Singh’s counsel, Swadeep Singh Hora argued that filing of the FIR is an endeavour of the state government to curb the reporting of news by the media. He said that the offence is not made out and the petitioner cannot be arrested for false allegations. Single judge bench of justice Govardhan Bardar directed that no coercive action including arrest be taken against the petitioner. In the FIR, the SHO of special offences and cyber crime-commissionerate had accused the duo of fabricating a news report that illegal phone tapping of Congress MLAs and ministers, who were staying in a hotel in Jaisalmer at that time, was being done from a hotel in Mansarover in Jaipur. Singh had moved the court and filed a petition in which he said that the news circulation was done by various channels and he along with Kumar had been roped in with a malafide intent.
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