Fake news

Delhi High Court takes cognisance of political commentator S Gurumurthy’s tweets in INX media case

The court, however, did not initiate contempt proceedings against him.

The Delhi High Court on Monday took cognisance of journalist and commentator S Gurumurthy’s tweets on the court’s decision to grant interim relief to former Union Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram in the INX media case, Bar and Bench reported.

In an order on March 9, the division bench of Justices S Muralidhar and IS Mehta asked the Enforcement Directorate not to arrest Karti Chidambaram till March 20, the next date of hearing in the case. Later in a tweet, which has since been deleted, Gurumurthy, the editor of the magazine Tughlak, asked if Muralidhar had been a junior to P Chidambaram, who is also a senior lawyer.

A few judges in Tamil Nadu reportedly brought the matter to Muralidhar’s notice, and later the High Court judge called the counsels arguing the case to discuss the matter. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta advised Muralidhar to ignore the tweets as the judiciary would not be able to function if its started taking cognizance of every offensive post on social media. Karti Chidambaram’s lawyer Kapil Sibal termed it an unfortunate incident and observed that politicians and public figures have to face such objectionable posts on social media.

Muralidhar agreed with Mehta, but said that that Gurumurthy is a well-known journalist with a substantial following. He went on to place on record that he was a was a junior only to former Attorney General G Ramaswamy and not to P Chidambaram.

The court, however, did not initiate contempt proceedings against Gurumurthy. It asked the Centre if any action could be taken to protect the judiciary from such “scandalous posts”. Gurumurthy later tweeted that he was deleting the post as he too feels that judges require protection against “wrong news” on social media.

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