Sunday, May 25, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S


Chandigarh, May 24
Apropos the news-item, HC Judge’s name included in FIR, published in these columns on May 24, The Tribune tenders an unqualified and unconditional apology. The report was not intended to defame any person or scandalise the judiciary. Our intention is clear from the fact that no names were mentioned.

The Tribune has always held the institution of judiciary in the highest esteem and it continues to do so. We regret the anguish caused to any person or any section of society for the unintentional lapse.

Tribune News Service adds: The matter arising out of the news-item was placed before a Full Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today, in pursuance of the order passed by the Chief Justice on a letter written to him by Mr Justice V.K. Bali.

The Bench, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi, Mr Justice N.K. Sodhi and Mr Justice Swatanter Kumar, felt that prima facie the news-item was intended to scandalise the entire judiciary. It issued notice to Mr A.J. Philip, Officiating Editor, Printer and Publisher of The Tribune, for May 29 to show cause as to why contempt proceedings might not be initiated against him.

The Judges also issued notice to the CBI through its SP, Chandigarh. The standing counsel for the CBI, Mr Rajan Gupta, accepted the notice.

The Bench also appointed Mr J.K. Sibal and Mr Ashok Aggarwal, Senior Advocates, as amicus curiae to assist the court in the case.

Meanwhile, the CBI has described the news report as completely baseless and malicious. The Deputy Principal Information Officer of the CBI, Mr G. Mohanty, said in a fax message sent to The Tribune that no officer from the CBI ever spoke to The Tribune regarding the case under investigation. “Therefore, it is very unfortunate to attribute the contents of the said news to sources in the CBI,” he added.

Mr Mohanty said once an FIR was registered, no addition or deletion of the names of the accused could be made except at the time of filing the chargesheet based on the evidence collected.

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