The National Herald case is a red-hot case, mostly due to the involvement of Dr. Swamy, the most-media-hated politician! However media makes a twisted report on well, almost every tweet by Dr. Swamy! At least 2.8 million people are eagerly waiting for the court orders, one court after another – trial court, high court and supreme court, apart from the people who are allegedly involved in corruption. We are sure of that number as Dr. Subramanian Swamy is having those many followers on his Twitter account! Reportedly, the paper – National Herald, is being revived.
However, even before the High Court verdict on July 12, 2016 at 2.25 pm, Hindustan Times on July 11, itself declared that “The relaunch of the papers will weaken the premise for a case against Congress president Sonia Gandhi, party vice-president Rahul and some of its senior leaders among others”.
The Hindu too said that “The papers’ revival will weaken the case against the Gandhis and other senior Congress senior leaders, it is felt”, though it is not clear to the reader that it is felt by whom? Is it felt by The Hindu or Congress leaders? Well, this may be, at the best, a wishful thinking by so called “balanced” journalists! After a theft, if the thief says that he/she would return whatever he/she has stolen, does it weaken the ongoing case against him / her? These reporters should be sent for a crash course on legal matters!
Now, let us examine how “balanced” journalists reported the verdict of Delhi High Court on the National Herald case on July 12, 2016:
NDTV declared that “In National Herald Case, Documents Denied To BJP’s Subramanian Swamy“. It said that “In his case against the Gandhis, BJP parliamentarian Subramanian Swamy is not entitled to government documents including the Congress party’s tax returns, the Delhi High Court said today, over-ruling the recent decision of a lower court”.
India TV rejoiced the verdict declaring that “National Herald case: Subramanian Swamy can’t access govt documents, HC sets aside trial court order”. It further said “BJP MP Subramanian Swamy is not entitled to government documents in his case against Gandhi parivar in the National Herald issue, the Delhi High Court today ruled as it set aside a trial court orders summoning documents from Finance and Corporate Affairs Ministries and other agencies and the balance sheet of the Congress party for 2010-2011 in the matter”.
India Today said “National Herald case: Relief for Sonia, Rahul as HC denies documents to Subramanian Swamy“.
On the other hand, Times of India report was more accurate, it did not claim the Dr. Swamy was “denied” documents or he “is not entitled for documents”. It quoted extensively from the verdict, with a title “National Herald case: Relief for Congress”.
A well balanced report and a proper understanding of the verdict came from The Telegraph. It said “National Herald case: HC says Cong leaders should be heard in Swamy plea for documents“. It reported “The Delhi High Court on Tuesday set aside a trial court’s order calling for documents relating to the National Herald case involving top Congress leaders, noting that the parties opposing it should have been heard“.
Well, the verdict in the case no. CRL.M.C.–672/2016 may be accessed here (25 page pdf) from the Delhi High Court website. For the benefit of readers, we quote the relevant parts of the verdict from last pages, which actually said:
“The plea of the complainant (Dr. Swamy) appreciating the order passed by the Trial Court without giving any notice or opportunity of hearing to the opposite side that too in a criminal case, would tantamount not only to the violation of principle of natural justice but also to the violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India”.
“Apart from the discussion made above, it is apparent from the arguments advanced that no list of witnesses or list of documents showing its connectivity with the witnesses or to the facts to be established before the Trial Court cannot be treated as proper application for rendering assistance to the Court to facilitate the evidence by way of seeking documents without demonstrating any necessity or desirability. The applications were moved in a casual manner and the orders passed on the same were also passed in a casual manner without due application of mind. The facts and circumstances mentioned above, non-issuance of notice to the opposite side and impugned orders being non-speaking and without due application of mind as per the law laid down by Hon’ble Apex Court, culminates into the impugned orders as ineffective, redundant and not sustainable in the eye of law and liable to be set aside“.
Now the part of verdict which clearly says that Dr. Swamy has not been denied the documents and he is indeed entitled for the documents:
“Undisputedly, the complainant (Dr. Swamy) always has a right to invoke the provision of Section 91 Cr.P.C. and the Court is always empowered to pass an order in the facts the circumstances of the case, keeping in view the necessity and desirability of the document in situations as discussed above and giving due opportunity of hearing to the other party”.
“However, it is made clear that the right of the complainant (Dr. Swamy) shall not be curtailed in any circumstance to move the fresh application during the pendency of the proceedings before the Court below“.
So much for the balanced reporting!
In view of preceding observations, is it right for the “balanced” journalists / editors / anchors / reporters to incorrectly declare that “Dr. Swamy has been denied to documents” or “Dr. Swamy cant access govt documents” or “Dr. Swamy is not entitled to government documents”? At this point of time has Dr. Swamy exhausted all his legal recourses? The nation wants to know!
Now for the shocker to the “balanced” journalists – Dr. Swamy has already tweeted that he is again approaching the trial court on July 16!
P.S.: We are not trolling any journalist here as we have carefully avoided usage of the now-(in)famous term #prestitutes. Rather, this is a balanced report on the reporting of National Herald case verdict by Delhi High Court on July 12, 2016 by “balanced” journalists!