Ex-SC judge defamation plea: HC says its order was violated

Ex-SC judge defamation plea: HC says its order was violated

The Delhi High Court today said that some media houses "deliberately" published and telecast allegations against former Supreme Court judge Swatanter Kumar despite its order barring the same.

Justice Manmohan Singh also warned that if he feels the court's order is not being complied with appropriate action will be taken against those responsible.

"They (some newspapers and television channels) knew of the January 16 order, but they are deliberately doing it (publishing the allegations). They should comply with court order. If I feel order is not being complied with, I will take appropriate action," the judge said and listed the matter for further hearing on August 28.

The court clarified that whatever happens in court may be published, adding there should be fair reporting.

The observations were made while hearing a defamation suit filed by Justice Swatanter Kumar against a woman lawyer and some media houses for allegations of sexual harassment made against him.

Justice Kumar had also demanded Rs five crore as damages from the woman lawyer and three media groups that publicised her complaint.

The court also said that it will be passing a detailed order on the woman lawyer's plea seeking deferring of the suit on the ground that she has filed a petition in the apex court seeking transfer of the case to Bangalore.

During the day's brief proceedings, counsel appearing for Justice Kumar contended that the court's January 16 order barring publication and telecast of the woman lawyer's allegation against him was violated.

It prompted the court to suggest that the plaintiff (Justice Kumar) can either file a contempt plea or wait and see what the apex court says in the transfer petition.

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