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Press doesn’t have exclusive right to criticise anyone: Court



New Delhi, Aug 6 : Press does not have any exclusive right or special privilege to comment, criticise or make imputations or allegations which are sufficient to ruin a citizen’s reputation, a Delhi court has said.

Further, journalists do not have greater freedom than others, it has said while reminding that the responsibility of the scribes was higher as they have power to disseminate information.

The court’s order came as it restrained the managing editor of a magazine from publishing any libellous articles against a man who has alleged that he was defamed.

It also directed the magazine editor and another person to pay Rs 30,000 and Rs 20,000 respectively to the man as “symbolic damages”.

“Further, journalists are in no better position than any other person. The press does not enjoy any exclusive rights under our Constitution, apart from those enjoyed by a citizen as a concomitant of the freedom of speech and rights against unlawful deprivation of life and liberty guaranteed under Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution,” Additional District Judge Raj Kapoor said.

The court said the press enjoys no special privileges to comment, criticise or even to investigate the facts of any case and rights of press persons are not higher than that of the common man.

“In fact the responsibilities of a journalist are higher.

The common man has limited means and reach in which he acts.

“A journalist on the other hand has a wider reach and power to disseminate information and therefore such power has the potential to cause irreparable damage to a matter under enquiry in a court of law or in a given case has greater propensity to scandalise … the dignity, majesty or reputation of an individual or an institution,” it said.

The man, a share broker and member of a housing society, had alleged that an article was published in the magazine in December 2007 to tarnish his image by using defamatory words.

He said when he issued a legal notice to the defendants, instead of apologising, they again defamed him by writing defamatory words against him to government agencies.

However, the founder and managing editor of the magazine claimed before the court that there was no defamatory article naming the man and that the magazine was not distributed among the business or connected circle of the man.

The second defendant, the then president and a resident of the same housing society, alleged that the man was indulging in unlawful activities in the society and he had filed a civil suit for removal of unauthorized encroachment there.

The court, however, said the two defendants had connived and published the articles in the magazine which were defamatory in nature and harmed the reputation of the man.


Rahul targets Prasad over pendency of cases in courts

Justice K M Joseph, overturned President’s rule in Uttarakhand in 2016. When his name was proposed for the Supreme Court, Modi ji s ego was hurt. Approval of over 100 judges, cleared for the Supreme Court and various High Courts are now on hold. #JudiciaryDemonetised(sic).



rahul gandhi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi today hit out at Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad over huge pendency of cases in courts and shortage of judges, and charged him with “peddling fake news” instead.

His attack came after Prasad accused the Congress of hiring the services of controversial data firm Cambridge Analytica, accused of harvesting data stolen from Facebook, in previous elections.

The charge has been denied by the Congress, which instead accused the BJP of using the services of the firm.

Legal system collapsing under Pending Cases: Supreme Court 55,000+, High Court 37 Lakh+, Lower Courts 2.6 Crore+. Yet, a staggering 400 High Court and 6,000 Lower Court judges not appointed, while Law Minister preoccupied peddling fake news, Gandhi said on Twitter, using the hashtag JudiciaryDemonetised .

He also took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over delay in appointment of judges to the Supreme Court.

“Justice K M Joseph, overturned President’s rule in Uttarakhand in 2016. When his name was proposed for the Supreme Court, Modi ji s ego was hurt. Approval of over 100 judges, cleared for the Supreme Court and various High Courts are now on hold. #JudiciaryDemonetised(sic),” he said in another tweet.

The Congress and the BJP have been engaged in a slinging match between each other accusing the other of using the services of the controversial data firm.

The Facebook data scandal erupted after a whistleblower revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to Trump’s 2016 campaign, accessed personal data from 50 million users of the website without their knowledge, and might have kept that data even after the social media giant told the company to delete it.

Prasad recently insisted that the Congress has used the services of Cambridge Analytica and said several media reports about the opposition party using the services of the firm had appeared in October and November last year and it never denied those stories till the BJP raised the issue.

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Karti Chidambaram protected from arrest till April 16 in Aircel-Maxis case



Karti Chidambaram

New Delhi, March 24: A special court here on Saturday granted interim protection from arrest, till April 16, to Karti Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis deal case.

Special Judge O. P. Saini directed that Chidambaram, the son of former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, will not be arrested in the case till April 16, the next date fixed for hearing on his anticipatory bail plea.

The court meanwhile directed him to join investigation whenever required and not to leave the country without permission.

The Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate has sought three more weeks to file reply on his anticipatory bail plea.

Karti Chidambaram’s advocate and senior counsel Kapil Sibal told the court that his client was arrested arbitrarily by the CBI in the INX media case and now he apprehends that he may be arrested in the instant case without any reason and sought interim protection from arrest till the probe agencies filed the reply in the matter.

The CBI is investigating how Karti Chidambaram allegedly managed to get a clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in the Aircel-Maxis deal when his father was the Finance Minister in 2006.

The special court, trying 2G cases, had discharged the Maran brothers – Dayanidhi and Kalanithi – in the case, holding that that there was no prima facie case warranting the framing of charges.

The CBI had chargesheeted Maran, his brother and businessman Kalanithi Maran and others alleging that Dayanidhi Maran used his influence to help Krishnan buy Aircel by coercing its owner Sivasankaran to part with his stake.

Sivasankaran alleged that Dayanidhi Maran favoured the Maxis Group in the takeover of his company. In return, he alleged, the company made investments through Astro Network in a company stated to be owned by the Maran family.


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Rajnath hails CRPF’s contribution in meeting security challenges



79th Raising Day - Rajnath Singh

Gurugram, March 24: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday hailed the CRPF for its contribution in facing various security challenges posed by terrorism, leftwing extremist violence and insurgents in the Northeast, saying the force played a prominent role in ensuring security for the country’s development.

Addressing the force personnel here on the occasion of CRPF’s 79th anniversary, he also recalled several incidents where the valiant CRPF troopers successfully thwarted miscreants’ evil designs and said the country is proud of it.

“The force played a prominent role in ensuring safety and security which is a prerequisite for the economic development of the country,” he said.

Urging the CRPF personnel to inform people about the government’s development programmes while highlighting anti-development activities of the Maoists, he said the central force was successful in inflicting heavy losses on Maoists who were using tactics of desperation as the battle is in the final stages.

Highlighting the multidimensional role of the force, he said whether it is Jammu and Kashmir, leftwing extremism, the northeast, elections or Internal security, the country looks up to the CRPF.

Terming Maoism a serious challenge, he said due to the gallant and determined action of the CRPF and other security forces, it has entered in its last phase.

Rajnath Singh said that incidents of leftwing extremism have drastically come down in the recent past and the casualty rate of the rebels has gone up, noting that during 2017-18, the force gunned down 172 extremists while losing 63 of its personnel.

Maoists are now resorting to coward ambushes against security forces as they are unable to undertake a direct fight, he said, and also paid tributes to the 9 troopers who were killed in a blast in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma early this month.

The minister praised the courage of CRPF Commandant Chetan Cheetah who took nine bullets during an operation in Kashmir valley last year and displayed rare grit during recuperation. Cheeta joined duty few days back at the force headquarters in Delhi.

Assuring the troopers better facilities, including accommodation, he also also presented various police awards to 21 troopers for their gallantry and meritorious services.

The Home Minister added that CRPF was not only organising civic action programmes, but also taking active part in Swachhata Abhiyan, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Abhiyan and encouraging digital transactions.

Earlier he inspected the CRPF Contigents and took the salute.


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