The Supreme Court on Thursday asked Republic TV to approach the Bombay High Court against the summons issued by Mumbai Police in connection with the investigation into charges of TRP fudging. The court also expressed concern over police commissioners “giving interviews”.
“I think your client’s office is in Worli. You can go to Flora Fountain and approach Bombay High Court under Article 226,” Justice D Y Chandrachud, heading a three-judge bench also comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee, told Senior Advocate Harish Salve, who appeared for the channel. “We are only saying approach the HC first,” said Justice Malhotra. “We must have faith in our High Courts. Without the intervention of the HC, it sends a bad message… They have been functioning throughout the pandemic,” observed Justice Chandrachud. Justice Chandrachud added, “We are also concerned that as of late, police commissioners have the tendency of giving interviews”.
Salve agreed to the court’s suggestion to approach the high court and withdrew the petition.
“Like any other citizen who faces the predicament of an investigation under the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, the petitioner will have to take recourse to the remedies which are available under the appropriate provisions of law. Hence, the petition under Article 32 of the Constitution is not entertained,” the court said in its order.
SC asks Republic TV to approach Bombay HC first. Justice DY Chandrachud says “we must have faith in our HC’s”. Adds court also concerned by the way police commissioners are giving interviews to the press these days @IndianExpress https://t.co/WUFOXmMdp8
— Ananthakrishnan G (@axidentaljourno) October 15, 2020
Meanwhile, Mumbai Police, in an advance affidavit, termed the plea “a gross abuse of the process of law” and said it “ought to be dismissed in limine with exemplary costs”. The affidavit said “any investigation into an alleged crime by the investigating agency cannot be urged as a ground for violation of Article 19(1)(a) as is sought to be done by the Petitioners”.
“Article 19(l)(a) cannot be invoked by the Petitioners to sidestep, thwart and prevent any investigation by the competent investigating agency into alleged fudging of TRP ratings. The right under Article 19(1)(a) is not a shield which can be used against any commission of crime under the extant criminal law of the land.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines