When the Supreme Court denied bail to former finance minister P Chidambaram in INX Media case, several media outlets pointed out that it was copy paste judgment from an unrelated case. According to ThePrint, on Monday, Justice Suresh Kumar Kait of the Delhi High Court, who is presiding over the case, took suo moto cognizance of the matter, and asked newspapers to issue clarification.
The Indian Express, The Hindu, and several digital media outlets including ThePrint and The Wire had reported that the court’s order denying bail to P Chidambaram, resembled Supreme Court’s decision on a bail plea in 2017 Rohit Tandon money laundering case.
On this, Justice Suresh Kumar Kait said that it was only a reference to the Rohit Tandon case, and there is no copy paste job, as claimed by newspapers. “It has nowhere been mentioned that the observations made in para 35 of the judgment are of the present case (i.e., P. Chidambaram case). Thus, there is no copy-paste as alleged and I hereby make it clear that the observations made in para 35 shall be read as and are confined to the case of ‘Rohit Tandon vs Enforcement Directorate’,” read the Kait order.
Kait asked the newspapers to issue “clarification” on the matter in Tuesday edition.
The Hindu and The Indian Express came out in openly in support of P Chidambaram after the central government agencies detained him in INX Media money laundering case.
N Ram, Chairman of Kasturi & Sons Limited and Publisher of ‘The Hindu’, had declared that there is “no evidence” against his old time friend- P Chidambaram. In a meeting of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC), organized to condemn the arrest of Chidambaram, N Ram played the role of investigation officer as well as judge. He said that a “monstrous injustice” has been done against P Chidambaram, who is in Tihar, and higher courts need to be criticized for that.
P Chidambaram is a longtime friend of N Ram and both were co-founders of socialist journal Radical Review in 1969. P Chidambaram and N Ram were born in Tamil Nadu in 1945 and have known each other since school and were college friends. Both studied at Loyola College, Chennai and Presidency College, Chennai. N Ram also claimed to introduce Chidambaram to Communist stalwart Prakash Karat in Madras in 1968.
P Chidambaram has enjoyed very good relations with the management of The Indian Express. Shekhar Gupta, Editor in Chief of Express till 2014, was a very good friend of the former finance minister. The newspaper published a weekly column by Chidambaram on Sunday- ‘Across the Aisle’ till he was jailed in corruption case. Chidambaram has been a contributor to the newspaper for decades. After the Modi government came to power, he published articles on political economy, often critical of Modi government’s policies. Many analysts have pointed out that The Indian Express published fake coup story in 2012 at behest of P Chidambaram.
From the aforementioned examples, it is very clear that Chidambaram enjoys very good relations with the management and editorial leadership of The Indian Express and The Hindu. These newspapers deliberately carried out the ‘copy paste’ story to malign the name of the High Court, and prove that the judiciary is vindictive towards Chidambaram.
They tried to portray Chidambaram as ‘victim’ of political vendetta, in which court is collaborating with Modi government. The left-liberal media establishment of India forms the epitome of hypocrisy. The people in this establishment like N Ram often take the ‘high moral ground’ in public, be it on women empowerment, eve teasing, transparency in businesses, and crackdown on black money so on and so forth. But when it comes to adhering to these principals in personal life or office environment, they violate almost every rule of these principals.
The high moral ground taken by the left-liberal media establishment remains in front of the camera. In backrooms they behave as tax evaders, money launderers, sexual predators, sycophants and what not. This establishment is responsible for informing the public, and in creating the public good, they must shed their biases and their personal dealings. The interesting thing is they cry foul and ‘political witch hunt’ when some legal action is taken against them. The establishment pleads for freedom of the press whenever their corporate wrongdoing is exposed but it is difficult to expect objectivity from these tainted media houses.