Telangana woman IAS officer Smita Sabharwal, who has served a legal notice on the English weekly magazine Outlook for a “defamatory” article on her, has been asked by 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 Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao took serious note of the article and asked the Chief Secretary to consider necessary action.
It is understood that they may issue a statement condemning the writing. In a related development, advocates also filed a complaint in the Saroornagar police station alleging that the report in the Outlook magazine was outrageous and hurt the sentiments of the woman officer and insulted the Chief Minister.
On Tuesday, Ms. Sabharwal had sent a legal notice to Editor-in-Chief of Outlook Krishna Prasad and its correspondent here for publishing the article along with an outrageous caricature in its issue dated July 6. The notice accused them of defamation and slander.
The notice was sent on behalf of the 2001-batch IAS officer by her counsel B. Rachna Reddy demanding public apology in the next issue of the magazine.
“The public apology can’t be a non-descript formal apology in a tiny section of the magazine but should be a detailed one that meets the outrage and hurt her client [the officer] was subjected to,” Ms. Rachana Reddy said, adding that it should also address the issue of female professionals and Outlook ’s sexist attitude.
When contacted, the officer who handles over a dozen departments in the CMO, that there was a “conspiracy” behind the publication of the article.
Terming it distasteful, cheap and titillating carrying false and vexatious implications, the legal counsel said in the notice that from the innuendoes, satirical reference of past service and alleged appearance at a fashion show it would become amply clear that the article was directed at her client.
Meanwhile, the magazine has withdrawn the objectionable illustration from its web edition with a line stating that “the illustration accompanying the item “No boring babu” has been removed.”
The IAS Officers Association, which met here on Wednesday, adopted resolutions to lodge a complaint with the Press Council of India, file a petition with the National Human Rights Commission and initiate legal action against the magazine.