Himachal ex-bureaucrat seeks Rs 1 Cr damages for wrongly being named rape accused by The Tribune

Shimla: A leading newspaper of North India, The Tribune has been slapped a Rs 1 Cr libel notice for wrongly naming an ex-bureaucrat in an attempt to rape case of a minor in Solan.

JR Gazta, who has taken to practicing law in the Himachal High Court after having retired as a senior IAS officer in Himachal said that the news item “Ex-bureaucrat booked for attempt to rape” which appeared in The Tribune on 23 August, 2010 has grossly damaged his reputation by wrongly naming him in the report.

“I have asked my legal counsel PD Nanda to serve notice on the newspaper and have sought Rs 1 Cr as damages,” said Gazta.

The contentious report, quoting a police official, had mentioned that the former bureaucrat had attempted to rape a six-year old Nepalese girl, in a one room rented accommodation, while the girl’s parents were not at home.

Meanwhile the newspaper today (26.8.2010) published a Clarification stating:

In a case of mistaken identity, a retired bureaucrat JR Gazta was wrongly mentioned as an accused in a case relating to attempt to rape a minor girl at Solan in a news item, “Ex-bureaucrat booked for rape”, appearing in these columns on August 23.

The case had actually been registered against another person with the same name who was also a former government employee. The error is deeply regretted.

Gazta said, “It’s too late and too little after the harm done by the wrong news item.

“The report has unnerved me and I have awkwardly been trying to tell family, relatives, colleagues and friends that I have been wrongly named,” he added.

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