FORMER Union Minister and legal luminary Ram Jethmalani said at a function in Mumbai Thursday that he will take forward the fight to bring black money back into the country.
Jethmalani said that while bringing back black money had been a key electoral promise, the NDA government at the Centre has not shown interest in the disclosure offered by Germany regarding the list of people who operate accounts in Swiss banks. “I watched Narendra Modi throughout the election campaign when he promised to bring back the black money in Swiss banks. He said in his speeches that each citizen will have Rs 15 lakh deposited in his account. I waited and waited but it seems like the German government is more keen to get the money than him,” he said, speaking at Jai Hind College at the 17th DM Harish Memorial Government Law College International Moot Court Competition.
Jethmalani and former MP Milind Deora, senior advocate of the Bombay High Court Amit Desai, senior journalist Kumar Ketkar and Anant Goenka, Wholetime Director and Head, New Media at The Indian Express were on a panel discussion on the subject of ‘Trial by Media’ on Thursday evening.
Apart from black money, the panelists also discussed the impact of media on the judiciary including on the recent Salman Khan judgment. Desai said in such cases, public opinion should not be generated on a poor understanding of laws. “The media should uncover deficiencies in the investigation but not write with slants and innuendo that would affect public opinion about a case,” said Desai.
To a question by the moderator on the validity of sting operations, senior journalist Kumar Ketkar said such means cannot be condemned in absolute terms. “There has to be prominence to collecting evidence from other means. It is a debate between right to privacy and public interest.” Ketkar also touched upon the subject of media freedoms. “Such questions about how far can the media go are being asked globally but freedom of the press is most important. Imagine if 26/11 was only covered by Doordarshan. We would not have known the gravity of the attacks,” Ketkar said.
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