Markandey Katju writes to TOI, says the paper misreported on his petition before the Supreme Court

‘Judges often think aloud, but that does not mean that the views they express are necessarily their final opinion.’

WrittenBy:Justice Markandey Katju
Date:
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I read on page 13 of today’s The Times of India (TOI) the reporting of the hearing of my petition in the Supreme Court challenging the resolutions of Parliament relating to my comments on Gandhi and Bose. The news item mentions that my petition was turned down. This is factually incorrect. There were no doubt some tentative observations by the bench, but ultimately the hearing of the petition was adjourned by two weeks. This fact has not been mentioned in the news item, nor the fact that Mr. Fali Nariman has been appointed amicus curiae, and the Attorney General has also been asked to appear on the next date. This makes the news reporting totally misleading, as if the petition was dismissed…If the petition had been dismissed, why was the case adjourned, and why were Fali Nariman and the Attorney General asked to express their views on the matter on the next date? Is this not contradictory?

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I may also mention that when a case is being argued in Court the Judges may initially disagree with the petitioner’s counsel, but that may be to invite a debate on the issue involved. Judges often think aloud, but that does not mean that the views they express are necessarily their final opinion. For example, a Judge may during a hearing say ” There is nothing in your case”, and then adjourn it. Now the very fact that the case has been adjourned indicates that it was only a tentative opinion. Unfortunately a section of the media publishes this comment as if it is a final opinion. This is unfair even to the Judge, because on the next date of hearing the Judge may reconsider and take a contrary view, and then comments may be made attributing motives to him.

I did not expect such gross errors from such a reputed newspaper like yours and I wonder whether the reporter who filed this story was even present in court during the hearing? If he was present, he surely must learn accurate reporting, which he does not seem to know.

Can you kindly ensure that these gross factual inaccuracies in today’s edition of your esteemed newspaper are corrected in tomorrow’s edition of TOI? Such gross errors affect the credibility of your newspaper. I would be obliged.

Editor’s Note: The online version of the story mentions that Fali Nariman has been appointed amicus curiae, and that the Attorney General has been asked to appear on the next hearing.

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