Court dismisses scribe’s plea against case transfer

July 11th, 2008 - 11:42 pm ICT by IANS  


New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Friday turned down the plea of Anirudh Bahal, former director of Tehelka.com, challenging the transfer of a case gainst him under the Official Secrets Act from a magistrate’s court to a sessions court. Bahal, who had exposed alleged corruption in defence deals during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime in 2001, is being prosecuted for illegally revealing government’s secret information on his news portal.

Alleging that the central government in 2006 had deliberately issued a notification directing the high court registry to transfer the case from the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) to the court of a special sessions court, Bahal had sought quashing of the order.

Refusing to give any relief, a bench headed by Justice Vikramjit Sen said, “The impugned administrative decision validly transferred the pending case from the court of CMM to the sessions court.”

According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), two home ministry officials - Neeraj Kumar, a section officer, and Thomas Mathew, a director, in violation of Official Secrets Act, had illegally revealed information to Tehelka reporters Samuel Mathew and Bahal.

After obtaining the information, these scribes had published several articles in their portal.

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