Apology

The order, pursuant to which the suo motu notice for contempt was issued, also stated as follows:

"Likewise, there was no reference by the Additional Solicitor General to the so called representation made by National Human Rights Commission headed by former Chief Justice of India Shri Justice K G Balakrishnan in respect of Faridkot House where National Human Rights Commission is presently working. What he mentioned was that a portion of Faridkot House which was ordered to be allotted to National Green Tribunal was earlier allotted to Press Council of India and the Court had observed that such allotment ought to be cancelled despite representation by any functionary and the premises be allotted to the National Green Tribunal."

And the Order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court then concluded as follows:

"The distorted reporting of the Court proceedings has the tendency of lowering the dignity of the institution and brings the entire institution of Judiciary to ridicule in the eyes of the public and also shakes the people's confidence in the independence and integrity of the institution."

In response, on the next returnable date of hearing of the Notice for Contempt (fixed on 30th October, 2012), it was stated to the Hon'ble Court that two separate affidavits had already been sworn on 29th October, 2012 of the Principal Correspondent of The Indian Express Mr Utkarsh Anand and of the Printer and Publisher Mr R C Malhotra tendering an unconditional apology. The Hon'ble Court then deferred consideration of the matter till 6th November, 2012.

On 6.11.2012 the said affidavits were read out to the Hon'ble Court which affidavits recorded inter alia as follows:

Affidavit of the Principal Correspondent Mr Utkarsh Anand

"1. Ever since a copy of the order dated 20th September, 2012 was served on me, as to why proceedings may not be initiated against me for misreporting of Court proceedings with reference to an Article under my byline in the New Delhi edition of The Indian Express dated 20th September, 2012, I have been trying to reconstruct the entire scenario in my mind along with my handwritten notes taken by me during the proceedings in Court on 19th September, 2012.

... contd.

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