Wednesday, Nov 19, 2003
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By J. Venkatesan
A three-Judge Bench, comprising the Chief Justice V. N. Khare, Justice S. B. Sinha and Justice A.R. Lakshmanan directed stay of the suo motu contempt proceedings initiated by the High Court after hearing brief arguments from the amicus curiae, F.S. Nariman, and counsel for the journalists, Anil Divan and P.H. Parekh.
Mr. Nariman brought to the court's notice that a sitting Judge of the High Court, N.S. Veerabhadriah, had filed nine defamation suits against newspapers claiming damages on the ground that his name was linked to the Mysore episode without any basis.
The application filed by Vishweshwara Bhat, Executive Managing Editor, Vijaya Karnataka, and others said that though the apex court had on October 6 observed that the matter needed to be given a quietus, on the same day legal notices were sent on behalf of Mr. Justice N.S. Veerabhadriah, to several newspapers claiming damages totalling Rs. 1 crore for defaming him.
On November 12, in the contempt proceedings suo motu initiated by the High Court, it was submitted by the contemnors about the proceedings pending before the Supreme Court and that the senior advocate F.S. Nariman had been appointed amicus curiae in the matter.
The application said that even after the apex court order was read out, the High Court decided to proceed with the contempt proceedings observing that there was no stay granted by the Supreme Court. It, therefore, sought stay of all contempt and other proceedings pending against the various newspapers.
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