A Jammu court on Saturday barred recently suspended IPS officer Basant Rath from posting any “defamatory or derogatory comments” on social media against six people, who claim to be acquaintances of Director General of Police (DGP), J&K, Dilbagh Singh.
Jeewan Kumar Sharma, Additional Munsif, Jammu, after hearing a petition filed by the six residents of Jammu, observed: “The plaintiffs have a prima facie case. The defendant (Mr. Rath) is directed not to publish any post or material by any means of communication, which is defamatory or derogatory against the plaintiffs and which has an effect of injuring the reputation of the plaintiffs in the society till the next date of hearing.”
Six persons — Parveen Kumar Mittal, a businessman; Virender Dubey, a medical practitioner; Saurabh Dang, a businessman, Rahul Bansal, a businessman, Davinder Verma, a businessman; and Amit Kohli, a businessman — had sought a decree of permanent prohibitory injunction, restraining Mr. Rath from posting any defamatory, derogatory, libel or slanderous posts or material on the social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other available social media platform with regard to them.
“Mr. Rath has made expressions, representations and gestures against them, which on the face of it are opposing the decency and morality, besides being defamatory in its nature. We are acquainted with the current Director General of Police, Dilbagh Singh and have family relations with him,” the petition said.
The petitioners claimed that Mr. Rath, in his various posts, referred to the Director General of Police as “Dilloo”, besides leveling the allegations of land grabbing etc and relating them too. A number of screenshots were submitted before the court. “These posts amount to innuendo,” the petitioners claimed.
The court directed Rath to file a written statement. The case has been listed again on July 25.
On Tuesday, the Union Home Ministry suspended Mr. Rath, a 2000-batch officer from Orissa after he lodged a police complaint against DGP Singh in a local police station in Jammu.
The Home Ministry had stated that the disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Rath were contemplated “in connection with repeated instances of gross misconduct and misbehaviour”.