File photo: Attorney General of India KK Venugopal.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
File photo: Attorney General of India KK Venugopal.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

‘Media trial causing great damage to judiciary’: Attorney General KK Venugopal

Venugopal, who was appearing in his personal capacity in the 2009 contempt of court case against lawyer Prashant Bhushan, said that the manner in which court news is being reported by media has serious implications.
By Murali Krishnan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 13, 2020 07:16 PM IST

Electronic and print media are attempting to influence the outcome of pending cases by their reportage and such media trial is doing great damage to the judiciary, Attorney General KK Venugopal told the Supreme Court on Tuesday requesting the court to examine the issue in greater detail and devise a solution to the problem.

Venugopal, who was appearing in his personal capacity in the 2009 contempt of court case against lawyer Prashant Bhushan, said that the manner in which court news is being reported by media has serious implications.

“Today electronic and print media are freely commenting on pending cases in an attempt to influence judges and public perception. This is doing great damage to the institution,” he said.

He gave examples of how television (TV) channels report bail matters and articles are written immediately before hearing in Supreme Court, specifically citing the example of the Rafale case.

“Today, when I watch TV, I see them playing conversations stated to be made by the accused. This can be very damaging to the bail plea of the accused. Another example is of Rafale in which immediately before the hearing, an article is published commenting on the case with details of documents. All this amounts to contempt of court,” he said. He requested the court to examine and address the problem.

Also read: India, China bet on dialogue to resolve border row in eastern Ladakh

Senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan, who was appearing on behalf of Bhushan, opposed the AG saying the case before the court is limited to contempt of court and issue regarding commenting on sub-judice (pending) cases has already been settled by the apex court in previous judgments. He, therefore, said that the issue should not be re-examined in the present case.

The contempt case against Bhushan itself has its genesis in an interview given by Prashant Bhushan to Tehelka magazine in which he claimed that half of the previous 16 Chief Justices of India were corrupt. Senior advocate Harish Salve had brought Bhushan’s statement to the notice of the court based on which the top court initiated contempt of court case against the activist lawyer in November 2009.

The case was listed by the top court before a bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra on July 24, 2020, more than eight years after it was last heard.

Bhushan refused to apologise for his statement but offered an explanation to the court on his controversial remark. The apex court, on August 10, rejected Bhushan’s explanation and decided to proceed with the case and hear it in detail.

When the case was heard on August 17, the court said that certain larger legal issues need to be settled, including whether allegations of corruption against judges can be made by way of public statements and the procedure to be adopted when such allegations are raised against the conduct of a sitting judge.

On August 25, Bhushan’s counsel requested that the case should be placed before a Constitution bench since it involves substantial legal issues.

The three-judge bench, which also comprised justices BR Gavai and Krishna Murari, could not, however, take the case to finality because justice Mishra retired from office on September 2.

The matter then came to be listed before a new bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar. When it was heard on September 10, the court appointed Venugopal as Amicus Curiae taking into account the importance of the issues involved in the case.

The parties to the case will now sit with the AG and frame the issues to be considered by the court. The case is likely to be heard next on November 4.

The top court had, on August 31, imposed a fine of Rs. 1 on Bhushan in another contempt of court case initiated against him for his tweets criticising the Supreme Court and current CJI, SA Bobde. Bhushan had refused to tender an apology in that case too despite opportunities afforded by the court.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Uttarakhand Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik at the video meeting with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday.(HT PHOTO)
Uttarakhand Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik at the video meeting with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday.(HT PHOTO)

Green bonus, special Ayush zone in Uttarakhand’s wish list for Union Budget

PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 06:28 PM IST
  • Uttarakhand's Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik said green bonus was a major demand of the state for conserving about 71% of its total area.
Close
Supreme Court of India(PTI)
Supreme Court of India(PTI)

'Past views by members cannot be ground to discredit a committee': SC

By Abraham Thomas, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 06:35 PM IST
  • The CJI was candid to admit that those appointed to a committee were free to express their views on the subject on which they have been called to consider.
Close
Farmers in Uttarakhand's Bazpur at a meeting to fine tune their protest.(HT PHOTO)
Farmers in Uttarakhand's Bazpur at a meeting to fine tune their protest.(HT PHOTO)

3,000 farmers from Uttarakhand to drive their tractors to Delhi to join protest

PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 05:57 PM IST
  • The BKU said committee will tour US Nagar district to ensure farmers participation with their tractors in Delhi on Republic Day .
Close
Union minister Prakash Javadekar said Rahul Gandhi’s reluctance to answer questions shows he has no answers to give. (ANI Photo)
Union minister Prakash Javadekar said Rahul Gandhi’s reluctance to answer questions shows he has no answers to give. (ANI Photo)

Rahul Gandhi has preferred to run away rather than answer questions: Javadekar

PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 05:35 PM IST
  • The BJP leader said the Congress is not interested in resolving the issues pertaining to the farmers and Gandhi’s media address a day before the government and the farmers’ meet shows that the party does not want the talks to be successful.
Close
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. (ANI)
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. (ANI)

Budget session: MPs to undergo Covid-19 test; arrangements made for families, staff

UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 05:41 PM IST
RT-PCR tests will be conducted at the Parliament House on January 27-28 and arrangements for Covid-19 testing have also made for families, and staff members of the lawmakers
Close
Covaxin is an indigenous vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research.(Reuters)
Covaxin is an indigenous vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research.(Reuters)

Karnataka Association of Resident Doctors' president raises concern over Covaxin

ANI, Bengaluru
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 05:24 PM IST
On January 3, India gave emergency use authorisation to two Covid-19 vaccines - Covishield and Covaxin - both being manufactured in the country.
Close
Representational Image. (File photo)
Representational Image. (File photo)

Kashmir: Families of 3 killed by security forces hold protest in Pulwama

By Ashiq Hussain
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 05:25 PM IST
The families have said that the boy was a class 11 student, Aijaz was pursuing graduation while Zubair was a skilled worker
Close
The adult male rhino that strayed out of Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve in Assam after it was tranquilized on Tuesday.(KNPTR)
The adult male rhino that strayed out of Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve in Assam after it was tranquilized on Tuesday.(KNPTR)

Rhino that strayed out of Kaziranga tranquilized, sent to Assam state zoo

UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 05:15 PM IST
  • The rhino had moved out of the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve on January 16 at Jakahalabandha area of Kaliabor.
Close
India is administering two vaccines as part of the first phase of Covid-19 immunisation covering roughly 30 million health care and other frontline workers.(AFP)
India is administering two vaccines as part of the first phase of Covid-19 immunisation covering roughly 30 million health care and other frontline workers.(AFP)

Rajasthan seeks spot registration for beneficiaries due to glitches in CoWIN app

PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 05:13 PM IST
  • The glitches in the CoWIN application have affected the vaccination drive in Rajasthan. The second day of the inoculation program saw 11,288 health workers of the 68.7% of targeted beneficiaries, which works out to 5 percentage points less than the first day.
Close
A clouded leopard caught on trap camera at Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary.(Meghalaya Forest Department)
A clouded leopard caught on trap camera at Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary.(Meghalaya Forest Department)

Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary in Meghalaya is Northeast’s best protected area

By David Laitphlang
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 04:50 PM IST
  • Biotic interference in Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary has been significantly reduced, zonation has been done in terms of core and buffer zones and it has a duly notified eco-sensitive zone
Close
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. (HT Archive)
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. (HT Archive)

PM Modi to inaugurate event to celebrate Netaji’s birth anniversary in Kolkata

By Deeksha Bhardwaj
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 04:49 PM IST
The anniversary is being celebrated as Prakaram Diwas from this year. The event in Kolkata will feature a tableau and two other major events will be held in Cuttack (Odisha) and Haripura (Gujarat)
Close
Various reasons are being attributed to the low turnout, including some technical issues and fears related to adverse events.(HT file photo)
Various reasons are being attributed to the low turnout, including some technical issues and fears related to adverse events.(HT file photo)

Apprehensions after AEFI cases may be reason of low vaccination turnout: Experts

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 04:42 PM IST
Cases of AEFI was reported in 26 persons, including two severe ones, and one person was hospitalised.
Close
An attendant at a fuel station fills fuel in a vehicle in Kolkata. (PTI)
An attendant at a fuel station fills fuel in a vehicle in Kolkata. (PTI)

News updates from Hindustan Times: and all the latest news

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 04:55 PM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
Chief election commissioner of India Sunil Arora is heading the team visiting Assam. (File photo)
Chief election commissioner of India Sunil Arora is heading the team visiting Assam. (File photo)

Assam parties asks EC to hold assembly polls around Bohag Bihu

UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 04:41 PM IST
Leaders of several political parties met a high-level EC team, headed by CEC Sunil Arora, which is in the state on a three-day tour, with their request
Close
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee (ANI)
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee (ANI)

'Will send people to disturb BJP meetings’: Mamata Banerjee announces at rally

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Karan Manral
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 04:26 PM IST
Mamata Banerjee also took a jibe at BJP leaders eating food with Dalit families while visiting West Bengal, saying she would ask her party workers to pay money to those hosting them.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP