SC dismisses appeal backing Mid Day journalists

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New Delhi Sep 28 (UNI) The Supreme Court today dismissed an impleadment application filed by 27 eminent persons including Magasaysay award winner Arvind Kejriwal, senior journalist Parbhash Joshi and Amit Bhaduri and Arun Kumar, both JNU professors including others backing Mid Day Journalists who have been sentenced to four months imprisonment by Delhi High Court.

They were sentenced for publishing a news against former Chief Justice of India Y K Sabharwal alleging that the sealing orders were passed by him to benefit his sons who were having connections with some shopping mall developers.

A bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice P Sadhasivam also adjourned the hearing of the appeal filed by Mid Day journalists including its editors Vitusha Oberoi, resident editors M K Tayal, Cartoonist Irfan and its printer and publisher till January 16 next year.

The appealants in their appeal have contended that the order of the High Court amounted to the suppression of freedom of speech of the press and is an attempt to gag the media.

The petitioners have also contended that since truth is the defence in contempt of court proceedings the news item published by the tabloid was based on true facts and hence does not amount to the contempt of court.

The Apex court while dismissing the application of 27 applicants seeking same punishment as has been meted out to Mid Day journalists on the ground that they also criticised Justice Sabharwal for his allleged misconduct, observed that the applicants have no locus standi in the case.

It may also be noted here that two former Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, Justice A S Verma and Justice B N Khare and two retired judges of the Supreme Court Justice Krishna Iyer and Justice P B sawant have already demanded that Justice Sabharwal offer himself for a judicial enquiry to come clean on the allegations being made against him.

Even Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee who has earlier had confrontation with the Supreme Court when he refused to accept the notice from the Apex Court contending that actions of Parliament as well as the speaker are beyond judicial review, has also made a statement that judiciary should not be oversensitive to criticism and has even gone to the extent of demanding a CBI enquiry into the allegations.

UNI

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