The Karnataka High Court today orally said there’s a “prima facie case” for investigation against Aaj Tak anchor Sudhir Chaudhary, Live Law reported.
Chaudhary and Aaj Tak had approached the high court yesterday to quash an FIR filed against them by the Karnataka police.
The FIR had been filed on September 13, accusing Chaudhary of spreading misinformation about a state scheme. Chaudhary’s show on Aaj Tak on September 11 had claimed the Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation had launched a commercial vehicle subsidy that was only for minorities, “not for Hindus”.
“What the Karnataka government is saying is even if you are extremely poor and have no money, if you are Hindu then no subsidy is given for buying a vehicle. But those who are Muslim, Sikh, Buddhists, they will get a subsidy for buying vehicles,” he said.
However, the scheme can also be availed by SC/ST communities and backward communities. The Karnataka government also clarified that the scheme had been started by the previous government.
An FIR was then registered against Chaudhary and Aaj Tak, based on a from an official from the Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation. Chaudhary and Aaj Tak were booked under sections 505 and 153A of the Indian Penal Code.
During today’s hearing, state advocate general K Shashi Kiran Shetty told the high court that the news channel had not withdrawn its earlier information.
, the high court said, “The role of the media is to provide information but this is not the information to be provided. It is not that benefits are given only to minorities...it is not only confined to minorities...Specific allegation was the government is providing the scheme only to minorities and depriving Hindus. There is prima facie case to go for investigation.”
Priyank Kharge, Karnataka minister for IT/BT, and rural development and Panchayat Raj, had accused Chaudhary of spreading “deliberate and malicious” misinformation in the matter. .