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R.K. Anand Contempt Delhi HC Judgement

R.K. Anand Contempt Delhi HC Judgement

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Published by Sampath Bulusu

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Published by: Sampath Bulusu on Jun 21, 2010
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05/23/2012

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WP (Crl.) No.796/2007 Page
1
of 
112
 
* HIGH COURT OF DELHI : NEW DELHI+ WP (CRL.) NO. 796/2007
Judgment reserved on: May 2, 2008% Judgment delivered on: August 21
st
, 2008Court on its own motion
…Petitioner 
 Through: Mr. Arvind Nigam, Advocate andAmicus CuriaeVersusState & Others
…Respondents
 Through: Mr. Sanjay Jain, Sr. Advocate withMr. Vijay K. Sondhi, Mr. VarunPareek and Mr. Kapil Arora,Advocates for NDTV.Mr. Vinay Bhasin and Mr. Ashok Bhasin, Sr. Advocates withMs. Shivani Lal and Mr. Vishv Nidhi,Advocates for contemnor Mr. R.K.Anand along with Mr. R.K Anandin person.Mr. P.P. Rao, Sr. Advocate with Mr.Huzefa Ahmadi, Mr. H.R. KhanSuhel, Mr. Amaan Khan andMr. Saif Khan, Advocates forcontemnor Mr. I.U. Khan withMr. I.U. Khan in person.Mr. S.P. Kalra, Sr. Advocate withMr. Munish Malhotra for contemnorMr. Sri Bhagwan Sharma withcontemnor Mr. Sri Bhagwan Sharmain person.Coram:
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE MANMOHAN SARINHON'BLE MR. JUSTICE MADAN B. LOKUR
1. Whether the Reporters of local papers maybe allowed to see the judgment? Yes2. To be referred to Reporter or not? Yes3. Whether the judgment should be reported
 
WP (Crl.) No.796/2007 Page
2
of 
112
 in the Digest? Yes
MADAN B. LOKUR, J.
 
The question for our consideration is whether Mr. R.K. Anand andMr. I.U. Khan, Senior Advocates and Mr. Sri Bhagwan Sharma, Advocatehave committed criminal contempt of Court or not. We have found Mr.Anand and Mr. Khan guilty of criminal contempt of Court for reasonsrecorded in the judgment. Neither of them had tendered any apology ordemonstrated contrition or repentance for their actions. Accordingly,towards the end of the judgment, we have pronounced the punishmentawarded to them. We have found Mr. Sri Bhagwan Sharma not guilty of criminal contempt of Court.
Background facts:
2. On 30
th
May, 2007 a TV news channel
 – 
NDTV
 – 
carried a report
relating to a “sting” operation. The report concerned itself with the role of a
defence lawyer and the Special Public Prosecutor in an ongoing Sessions
trial in what is commonly called the “BMW case”.
3. On 31
st
May, 2007 a Division Bench of this Court, on its own motion,registered a writ petition being WP (Crl.) No. 796 of 2007 since it was of theopinion that if the reported contents were true, they raise serious issuesconcerning criminal justice administration. Under these circumstances, theDivision Bench felt it expedient and in the interest of justice to ascertain thefull facts from NDTV.
 
WP (Crl.) No.796/2007 Page
3
of 
112
 4. The Division Bench issued a direction to the Registrar General tocollect all materials that may be available in respect of the telecast and alsodirected NDTV to preserve the original material including the CD/videopertaining to the sting operation.5. It appears that simultaneously the learned Additional Sessions Judgebefore whom the BMW case was pending also instituted an inquiry into thecontents of the report and on 1
st
June, 2007 the Managing Editor of NDTVproduced before him three chips and five CDs containing the material in thethree chips (which had the original unedited recording). However, since thisCourt was seized of the matter, the learned Additional Sessions Judge didnot proceed further with the inquiry.6. In compliance with the order dated 31
st
May, 2007 NDTV producedbefore the Registrar (General/Administration) of this Court, on 2
nd
June,2007 six CDs. One of the CDs was said to be edited, while the remainingfive were said to be unedited. The statement of Ms. Poonam Agarwal areporter of NDTV was recorded to this effect and the CDs were placed in a
sealed cover. Ms. Agarwal also stated that “The NDTV news channel doe
snot have any other material in connection with the sting operation in
question”.
She undertook to preserve the original chips.

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