It may seem like a misuse of judicial powers but there is more to it than meets the eye.
The Times Now channel is reported to have shown the wrong photo of a judge accused in a scandal. The affected judge filed a suite and demanded damages for Rs. 100 crore. The channel corrected the error and ran apologies for weeks but the offended judge refused to withdraw his suit. The appeals court accepted the lower court’s demand that Times Now deposit a part/whole of the money before the judgement.
This may all seem to be an abuse of judicial powers. We are also sympathetic to Times Now because it has been in the forefront of the campaign against corrupt politicians, particularly in the context of NDTV’s deliberately slanted coverage (favourable to Congress).
Why is this suit justified? Because Bennet & Coleman, the owners of The Times of India, The Economic Times, and Times Now, have used legal threats and the possibility of huge financial damages on bloggers. Many bloggers have meekly surrendered to the threats issued by the legal department of the B&C. The 100-crore fine on the Times group is in keeping with the size of the company and in consideration of the legal threats that group has issued against others. So, do not waste your tears on this one.
A tribal woman named Soni Sori has been beaten and tortured in custody. The policmen also stuffed her private parts with pebbles. When this brought to the notice of the Supreme Court, the honorable court gave the Chattisgarh government time till January 24 to respond. That’s the kind of miscarriage of justice we need to be worried about.