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Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal of the Patiala House Court today dismissed Congress Leader Moti Lal Vohra’s application seeking to restrain Subramanian Swamy from tweeting about the ongoing National Herald case.
The Court recorded that it cannot prohibit any person from reporting the proceedings of a case unless and until it is shown that the reporting is patently mala fide and false.
The Court thus rejected the applicant’s plea that Swamy’s conduct was prejudicing the outcome of the National Herald case.
“I am unable to find anything on record. Nothing has been put forth to show that these tweets may have caused any damage to the trial or any prejudice to Court..The tweets placed on record may not be happily worded from the point of view of the Applicant or other accused but how they interfere in the administration of justice or are prejudicial to the defense of the accused is not clear.”, the judge observed.
With respect to the allegedly defamatory tweets published by Swamy against the lawyers representing Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and other accused in the case, the Court asked the applicant to seek appropriate remedy under the law of defamation.
“If the Applicant considers something as defamatory, he has an appropriate remedy under the defamation law but not contempt”, the Court said.
Swamy had accused Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Motilal Vohra, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda and Gandhi family controlled – Young Indian of cheating, criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of property.
Senior Advocate RS Cheema, who appeared for Vohra, had earlier submitted that Swamy has been conducting himself in a manner where he is not only “character assassinating” the accused but also insulting the lawyers who are representing them.
Swamy filed his reply in this application before the Court and made his submissions challenging the admissibility of the tweets, allegedly published by him, under the Indian Evidence Act. Swamy claimed that the said tweets did not count as evidence and also argued on the merits of the application.
It was Swamy’s case that while he has a right to tweet, there have also been precedents where similar injunctions sought were not entertained by the Courts.
“I have a right to tweet, there is no doubt about that. But the evidence submitted is not evidence at all under the Evidence Act”, submitted Swamy.
Cheema also posed a severe objection to Swamy’s usage of terms like “Congi lawyers” in his tweets which were found to be objectionable to the lawyers. He claimed that Swamy was not permitting a fair trial to be carried out.
Swamy submitted that “usage of the term “Congi”, is not defamatory, it’s just short for Congress”.
Swamy would be cross-examined in the case on January 11,2018.
Read the order: