The Delhi High Court on Friday, issued notice to certain media houses based on a petition filed against the CBI by businessman Vijay Nair, which alleged that information about the liquor scam case had been leaked to the media.
Nair had approached the Delhi High Court last year, alleging that sensitive information related to his case had been leaked to the media by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), prejudicing his right as an accused. Nair is an accused and in the custody of the ED but has been granted bail in the CBI case.
A bench headed by Justice Gurang Kant issued notice to five media houses that had been named, directing them to file a reply. These media houses were impleaded by Nair earlier in the case. The EDhas been instructed to file a status report as well. However, the agency’s counsel submitted that the ED is not required to file a reply.
During the hearing, the bench asked Nair whether he still wished to pursue the petition as he is protected by an order of the High Court passed on 21 November, 2022. The HC had directed news channels to adhere to the guidelines governing them and to ensure that all broadcasts reporting the liquor scam case were based on official press releases by the investigation agencies.
On Thursday, the counsel for the News Broadcasters and Digital Association (NBDSA), submitted that only three of the five media house parties to the matter were members of the association and they did not violate the code. The regulatory body stated that it did not monitor broadcasts by non-member news outlets. Noting the submission, the bench directed the NBDSA be impleaded and an examination of information that had been broadcast be carried out to ensure compliance.
The bench also perused the status report and heard the submissions made by the counsel for the CBI and ED. The counsel for CBI had submitted that the agency issued 3 press releases. The press releases do not contain what has been broadcast. At further probing by the bench the investigative agencies revealed that they had not issued further press releases and laid responsibility on the named news channels.