A journalist of a television news channel, accused of airing defamatory content on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court in a fraud and forgery case this morning, his lawyer said.
Anuj Shukla, the managing editor of the Noida-based Nation Live channel, has been given the relief by Justice Ajit Singh, who heard the matter at court number 80 this morning, lawyer Nitin Gupta told PTI.
The same court and judge had on July 19 granted bail to Anuj Shukla's colleague Anshul Kaushik, who worked as a news anchor in the channel, he said.
Both of them were held on June 10 and were lodged at the Luksar jail in Gautam Buddh Nagar.
The channel's head Ishika Singh was also arrested in the case, in which two separate FIRs were registered at the Phase 3 police station in Noida, but her bail plea is yet to be taken up by the high court.
"Anshul and Anuj had moved the Allahabad High Court to seek relief in the other case, after all three were granted bail by a local court in the defamation case. Today, the Allahabad High Court heard mr Shukla's plea and granted him bail in the fraud and forgery case," Mr Gupta said.
"We argued that (Anuj) Shukla is only an employee of the channel and had joined in April this year. It was not his domain of work to find out if the news channel was working under an unregistered name. Justice Singh had granted bail to (Anshul) Kaushik on similar grounds," Nitin Gupta, who is representing both, said.
The lawyer, however, said bail orders were yet to be signed by the high court judge and accordingly it would have to be produced in a lower court in order to get the journalist duo freed from jail.
One of the FIRs was filed for promoting enmity, printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory, for circulating rumours and public mischief.
The other FIR was registered for fraud and forgery after it emerged that the channel was "operating illegally" without having the "requisite permissions" from the government to operate under the name ''Nation Live''.
All three scribes were on June 20 granted bail in the defamation case by the Greater Noida District and Sessions Court.
The police had on June 10 sealed the premises of Nation Live in Sector 65 of Noida, while the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had issued a show-cause notice to the channel for "illegal operations".
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