Supreme Court lifts gag order on Amar Singh tapes (Second Lead)

May 12th, 2011 - 1:20 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday lifted a 2006 gag order restraining the media from publishing transcripts of phone conversations of former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh.

An apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly vacated the interim order while dismissing the petition by Amar Singh.

The court said that it is not called upon to decided the case on merit as “no case of tapping of telephone has been made out against the statutory authorities…”

The judgment also noted Amar Singh’s submission that he was satisfied with the investigation into the matter.

The court said it was not making any observation on the merit of the case and left it to Amar Singh if he wanted to initiate proceedings against the service provider in accordance with law.

Speaking for the bench, Justice Ganguly said that the truth constituted an integral part of the justice-delivery system which has now been overtaken by materialism and quest for personal gains.

“However, this court is constrained to observe that those principles (of truth) are honoured more in breach than in their observance,” the judgment said.

The court said that the fundamental principles of jurisprudence say that litigants must observe total clarity and candour in their pleadings, especially when it contains a plea for injunction.

Assailing Amar Singh, the court said: “Following these principles, this court has no hesitation in holding that the instant writ petition is an attempt by the petitioner to mislead the court on the basis of frivolous allegations and by suppression of material facts.”

“In view of such incorrect presentation of facts, this court had issued notice and also subsequently passed the injunction order, which is still continuing,” the judgment read.

The court said that it wanted to make it clear that perfunctory and slipshod affidavits which are not consistent with its rules and orders should not be entertained by the court.

“If the rules for affirming affidavit according to Supreme Court were followed, it would have been difficult for the petitioner (Amar Singh) to file this petition and so much of judicial time would have been saved,” the judgment said.

Amar Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP, had filed the petition in 2006 after some of his telephonic conversations were illegally tapped and were in circulation. The leader had moved the apex court and got a restraint order against their publication in media.

But the Centre for Public Interest Litigation through its lawyer Prashant Bhushan had pleaded that it was the right of people to know the alleged illegal dealings of public figures in the discharge of their public function. The application said this right of the people was guaranteed by the Article 19(1) (a) of the constitution and also upheld by the apex court.

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