Publication of undelivered judgment in journal rocks High Court

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Chennai, Nov 23 (UNI) The publication of an undelivered judgment relating to a dispute among the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's family members, rocked the Madras High Court.

The publication of a complete judgment, which was never pronounced in the first place has triggered alarm bells in the High Court.

A shocked higher judiciary has asked a senior judge to probe the whole issue.

Tamil Nadu Law Notes Journal, which is regularly publishing pronounced judgments, published a 'judgment' of Justice M Jeyapaul in its issue dated November 10.

The judge and senior counsels involved in the case were stunned to see the ''judgment' in print, as the court had not passed any such order. In fact, the judge had permitted further arguments in the matter. Worse, the same case is being argued before another judge now.

The case pertains to an ongoing cable war between the Sun TV Network Limited and the Royal Cable Vision (RCV), owned by the family of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's son M K Alaghiri and Maran brothers.

Justice Jeyapaul, who had reserved orders on the matter, came to court with his order in a sealed cover on September 30. However, when an advocate wanted to make further arguments in the case, the judge gave permission and did not deliver the judgment. But, this undelivered 'judgment' found its way to the law journal and was published.

The possibilities range from an innocuous clerical or technical mistakes to a larger conspiracy, where one of the litigating parties had not only sneaked out an unauthorised copy of the order but also managed to get it published in the law journal, all with a motive.

Some judges in the high court dictate their order using digital voice recorders, enabling their stenographers to type the orders later. ''This is risky,'' a senior advocate said.

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