The issues were framed by Justice Rajiv Sahai End law against Azad after his counsel said that the statements do not attract defamation as the alleged words attributed to him are privileged under Article 105 of the Constitution.
The judge did not accept the contention of the former cricketer and observed “I am unable to read Article 105 as allowing a Member of Parliament to make outside Parliament, in the name/garb of being a representative of the people of his constituency or in public interest, statements which are defamatory, without being liable therefor”.
The court also rejected Azad’s plea for dismissal of Rs 10 crore defamation suit filed against him by HI and Batra and decided to examine whether the sports body and its president had suffered any loss on account of the former cricketer’s action and if so, what compensation they were entitled to.
It said it would examine whether these statements were made by Azad in public interest and whether it amounts to a fair comment and to what effect.
Azad has allegedly made defamatory allegations against the sports body in his various communications to the Finance Minister and Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs Secretary.
The court has now fixed the matter for May 15 before the Joint Registrar to decide whether any defamatory statements were made by them. In a civil suit, when one party affirms and other party denies a material proposition of fact or law, then only issues arise.