‘tarikh pe tarikh’..Is it that difficult to disagree with the Supreme Court or its judgement?

Karnataka steelmakers as SC adjourns case, again for the 13th time !!

And this is what I want to ask today. Is it wrong to disagree with the Supreme Court in India? Why is it that disagreeing with a SC order or the way its proceedings are held, in a specific case or in general, are taken as a contempt of the judiciary in India? Also, the demons of ‘contempt of court’ if we say anything against the court or its order, has to be taken out. Else, we are not free.

March 30 was a regular day in the Supreme Court of India with many cases heard and many deferred. One of the cases was of the steel-makers in Karnataka crying for iron ore supply in order to sustain steel production. On that day, the Supreme Court of India adjourned the hearing of the iron ore mining case for the 13th time.

Out of the 27 times that the case was listed in the Supreme Court, the hearing has been deferred 13 times. Means nearly every second hearing was deferred/adjourned or whatever legal jargon you want to give. (PS: Dear Supreme Court, I am in complete knowledge of your guidelines for court reporters and let me assure you that I am not a court reporter).

Out of these 13 adjournments, five have happened consecutively since February 24, the latest one being the one on March 30. On March 16, the hearing was adjourned as one of the judges wasn’t available and March 23 hearing was adjourned because the CEC panel failed to submit its report to the SC bench.  The Supreme Court, in a notice on its website on March 14, said,

“Due to non-availability of Honourable Mr Justice Aftab Alam for hearing forest bench matters, special bench comprising of Honourable The Chief Justice, Honourable Mr Justice Aftab Alam and Honourable Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar for hearing the matter will not sit on Friday, the 16 March 2012.”

This case is a matter of national importance and the stakes are high. And even though nearly half of the scheduled hearings getting cancelled due to one reason or the other, companies/stakeholders/everyone who is affected by this, are keeping their mouth shut fearing a showdown by the SC. The companies are silent. They are scared that whatever they may say will be taken against them by the SC.

So, is it that even the SC, the guardian of citizens’ rights in this country doesn’t tolerate freedom of expression/speech even when its done keeping in mind all the clauses of the constitution? Is it that difficult to disagree with the Supreme Court or its judgement?

The steel industry in Karnataka is again staring at a near shut down situation because of these delays. Steel-makers say that the CEC, in its report to the SC, recommended category ‘A’ mines to function as no illegalities were found there. ” All we are asking the SC to consider this recommendation as soon as possible so that the steel production can carry on,” they say.

So, I ask the question again. Till when are we going to stick our heads in the sand and ignore the stark realities that face us? The argument that Indian courts are over-worked with millions of cases pending, is valid. But, such cases where the future of our economic development depends, can’t be left to such frequent adjournments.

Currently, with no solution in sight, only a “few” months iron ore supplies are left in the state. Over half of the sponge iron makers in Karnataka have already drawn shutters and rest are bleeding money profusely in the hope of a judgement. The mega steel plants in the state, too, are slowly cutting production. The total steel capacity in Karnataka is 16 million tonne, of that 3 million tonne is sponge iron. Most of this sponge iron production has been shut down and steel plants are running at low capacities.

(courtesy: BlogAdda & A Day In My Life)

media laundry @Dhobitalao: Coalgate Tweets, Channels Pulling Down Game, Recycled Scoop, Costly Photo, Big Paper-Big News,

Mukkam Post- Dhobitalao









Guidelines for media on court reporting soon….

The Supreme Court recently indicated that it would lay down guidelines for the media on court reporting with a view to striking a balance between protecting press freedom and protecting the right to life.

A five-judge Constitution Bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justices D.K. Jain, S.S. Nijjar, Ranjana Desai and J.S. Khehar said: “We have to balance Article 21(right to life and liberty) with Article 19 (1) (a) (the right to freedom of speech and expression, including the freedom of the press).”

The CJI made it clear, “We are not interested in controlling media content. We are interested in prevention rather than initiating contempt of court proceedings against the erring media. How to prevent before the damage is done.”


The Bench expressed concern over trial by media in several pending criminal cases. “The media reports sub judice cases in a manner which makes the accused seem guilty even before the court has convicted him and the media attempts to drum up support for the sentence he should eventually be handed out.”

Justice Khehar said: “The media creates a mindset about what is right or wrong. When the judgment is not on those lines, the judge’s image is tarnished and all sorts of motives are attributed to him and his judgment becomes suspect.” The court was specifically concerned about cases in which an accused was arrested and “the media goes to town projecting him as guilty.”

Court pulls up govt. for not policing media

A high court division bench in Bangalore headed by chief justice Vikramajit Sen has adjourned hearing to Thursday on a batch of petitions pertaining to the March 2 violence at the City Civil Court complex following a request by advocate general S Vijay Shankar.

“We are not saying anything against police. But, minus the CBI, how investigation can go forward to the satisfaction of all is the issue. Do not talk of morals, we are concerned with the truth, when will it emerge? Anyway, you seek instructions ,” the bench observed. This when the advocate general sought time while appealing to the court not to entrust the investigation to CBI which in his opinion would demoralize the state police.

The bench took the government to task for not initiating any action against TV channels which had spread wrong news about some policemen being killed in the March 2 violence.

“In three weeks, nothing has been done. It only shows lack of administration,” the bench observed. As regards the media, especially electronic media, the bench was of the view that they were only interested in pulling down the rival channel and about viewership.


On March 22 DNA ran a story on an agriculture ministry report on BT Cotton. On the 26th morning the Hindustan Times ran it as a front page exclusive!

Costly photo

Congress MLA Founder Strong Cajee flew into a vengeful  rage when he assaulted senior photojournalist Warton Lytan in the State Assembly corridor. The reason: Lytan had taken a picture of him sleeping inside the Assembly which was published in the vernacular dailies. The Shillong Press Club (SPC) has condemned the attack and also filed an FIR.

In the counter FIR, Cajee has claimed that Lytan told him,”You stupid MLA representing Mawlai Savage Constituency.”


The Hindu interview with the army chief which dominated the airwaves on Monday night was done a week before it appeared, not used  for a mundane reason–Vidya Subramaniam did not have time to write it earlier. And the ETV interview which all the channels had on the 26th night was in fact aired on ETV before the Hindu interview was published, but nobody noticed it when it initially surfaced! Something has to be on a  big  English daily to become big news.
One more paper implements Majithia Wage Board recommendations

A South Indian newspaper has become the second paper in India to implement recommendations by the Majithia Wage Board. Madhyamam is the second paper (after Assam Tribune) to implement the recommendations, and is the first newspaper in Kerala to do so. The paper’s journalist and non-journalist staff will now receive pay revisions with retrospective effect from July 2010. The move will benefit nearly  a thousand employees.


After 2G & CWG scams, another scam that is presently making the current UPA govt ‘popular’ on social media is the 10.7 lakh crore coal scam. “Coalgate” is the top trend on Twitter in India right now. The present top 10 trends on Twitter are “#coalgate”, “CAG” and “Rs. 10.7”.

Clever Mamata

Mamata Banerjee has learnt the art of pleasing the journos. To earn brownie points, the Bengal CM has announced that she will  support  the demand of media persons for the implementation of Majithia Wage Boards and will join the nationwide agitation on March 20 in this regard.

One more in Arunachal

Itanagar got its sixth daily earlier this week, calledIndependent Review. This is in addition to   The Arunachal Times, Echo of Arunachal, The Dawnlit Post, Eastern Sentinel and Arunachal Front.

(compiled from thehoot.org, TOI, The Hindu)