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Secretly-shot courtroom video: 5-judge bench hears contempt plea against 14

The directive came after senior advocate Shrihari Aney said that though the offensive videos had been deleted, videos with ‘offensive’ titles were still doing the rounds on YouTube

mumbai Updated: Mar 25, 2017 00:25 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
The bench also directed YouTube to remove any other offensive videos or material uploaded to the site in the future.
The bench also directed YouTube to remove any other offensive videos or material uploaded to the site in the future.(HT File Photo)

For the first time in recent history, a five-judge bench of the Bombay high court assembled on Friday to hear contempt proceedings against 14 people who uploaded a secretly-shot video of the proceedings in a high court judge’s courtroom on YouTube and termed it ‘a sting operation to expose corruption’.

The bench comprising chief justice Manjula Chellur, justice Shantanu Kemkar, justice Abhay Oka, justice SC Dharmadhikari and justice RM Sawant directed YouTube to remove the offensive videos, which the content-sharing site had deleted pursuant to earlier directions of the court.

The directive came after senior advocate Shrihari Aney, who represented the petitioners — the Bombay Bar Association and the Advocates Association of Western India — said that though the offensive videos had been deleted, videos with ‘offensive’ titles were still doing the rounds on YouTube.

“They have removed the content, but the removal is doubtful,” said Aney.

He said that one of the titles read, ‘The sting operation exposing corruption of Justice so-and-so is deleted’. He expressed the need to remove these videos as soon as possible.Accordingly, the bench directed YouTube to remove the videos.It added that if the site was unable to do so for technical reasons, it must block the pages.

The bench also directed YouTube to remove any other offensive videos or material uploaded to the site in the future.

The bar associations had filed a petition seeking action for criminal contempt against 14 people who posted a 38-minute video that copied the format of a news channel and depicted a person acting as an anchor and interviewing several people, including lawyer Nilesh Ojha, who made scandalous remarks against high court judges.

YouTube’s counsel, senior advocate V Tulzapurkar, informed the bench on Friday that as many as 21 offensive videos had been deleted.

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