The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Thursday issued notice to a television news channel directing it to produce entire documents relating to the matter of Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust run by union law minister Salman Khurshid on the basis of which a Public Interest Litigation was filed.
The order was issued by the division bench comprising Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice Satish Chandra during hearing on the maintainability of the PIL filed by RTI activist Nutan Thakur.
The PIL was filed on Monday last in the registry of the Lucknow bench seeking direction for lodging of an FIR and also monitoring by the court in the case of the trust run by law minister Khurshid and his wife Louise.
The petitioner in her PIL prayed the court to direct principal secretary home of Uttar Pradesh government and Economic Offences Wing to immediately lodge an FIR on the basis of primary investigation report conducted by Viklang Kalyan department and social welfare department in pursuance of ministry of social justice as send to EOW by the state and to investigate the matter in accordance with law.
It was also prayed that the court kindly monitor the investigation on its end.
Six parties, including state government through principal secretary home, EOW, central government through Ministry of Social Justice, principal secretary social welfare UP, Aaj Tak through Editor India Today group and Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, were arrayed as the respondents in the PIL.
Appearing on behalf of the Union Government senior counsel Vivek Tankha alleged that it was a proxy PIL, filed in a casual manner to malign and scandalise a person.
Raising preliminary objection, the counsel submitted that the PIL was based on the media reports without inquiring detailed facts.
On behalf of the state government, additional advocate general Bulbul Godiyal also raised the similar preliminary objections regarding the maintainability of the PIL. She also submitted before the court that an EOW inquiry was being conducted under the direction of the UP Chief Minister.
On behalf of the petitioner, counsel Ashok Pandey submitted that the state government was investigating the matter without lodging an FIR.
He submitted there were allegations about something wrong in the matter of the trust so it should be probed after lodging a proper FIR.
Pandey alleged that signatures were forged and the CAG in its report has said that fraud has been done.
The bench directed news channel Aaj Tak to produce entire documents related to the matter and fixed October 30 as the next date of hearing.