IAS officer Smitha Sabharwal asked to file complaint against magazin

By: Chandrashekhar, Ravi Reddy

Telangana woman IAS officer, Smitha Sabharwal, who has served a legal notice on the English weekly magazine Outlook for a “defamatory” article on her, has been asked by the State Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma to file a written complaint seeking registration of a criminal case.

Once the complaint is received, Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma is likely to forward the same to the police. Sources said that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao took serious note of the article and advised the Chief Secretary to consider necessary action.

In the meantime, IAS Officers’ Association is meeting here tonight to discuss the offensive write-up in Outlook magazine.

It is understood that they may issue a statement condemning the writing. In a related development, advocates also filed a complaint in Saroornagar police station alleging that the report in the Outlook magazine was outrageous and hurt the sentiments of woman officer and insulted Chief Minister K.Chandrashekar Rao.

On Tuesday Ms. Sabharwal, had sent a legal notice to the Editor-in-Chief of Outlook, and its correspondent here for publishing a “defamatory” article along with an outrageous caricature in its issue dated July 6 on the charges of defamation and slander.

The legal notice was sent on behalf of the 2001-batch IAS officer by her counsel B. Rachna Reddy to Editor-in-Chief of Outlook Krishna Prasad and its local correspondent here demanding public apology in the next issue of the news magazine.

“The public apology can’t be a non-descript formal apology in a tiny section of the magazine but should be a detailed that meets the outrage and hurt her client (the officer) was subjected to”, Ms. Rachana Reddy said in the notice adding that it should also address the issue of female professionals and “Outlook’s” sexist attitude.

When contacted, the woman IAS officer who handles over a dozen departments in the CMO, alleged that there was a conspiracy behind publication of such a distasteful news article. “The language used is defamatory and insulting besides being outrageous. It hurt me badly as a woman and as a bureaucrat in public life for the last 14 years”, Ms. Sabharwal said adding that she had slapped a legal notice against the magazine in her individual capacity.

Terming the article as distasteful, cheap and titillating carrying false and vexatious implications the legal counsel said in the notice that it was also defamatory and slanderous in nature. Ms. Rachna Reddy said from the innuendoes, satirical reference of past service and alleged appearance at a fashion show would make it become amply clear that the article was directed at her client.

Meanwhile, the magazine has withdrawn the objectionable illustration from its web edition in the evening.

Source: The Hindu

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