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Delhi HC judge recuses herself from hearing plea by Vijay Nair, refers it to bench of Chief Justice

ANI | Updated: Feb 07, 2023 23:19 IST

New Delhi [India], February 7 (ANI): Justice Prathiba M Singh on Tuesday recused herself from hearing the plea moved by Vijay Nair in the Delhi liquor scam case. Now the matter has been referred to bench of the chief justice.
Businessman Vijay Nair approached the Delhi High Court alleging that the sensitive information related to his case is being leaked to the media by the CBI and ED and it is prejudicing his right as an accused.
The Delhi High Court on November 21, 2022 directed news channels to adhere to the guidelines governing them and to ensure that all broadcasts carried while reporting Delhi liquor scam case are based on official press releases by the investigation agencies.
The court had also directed petitioner Vijay Nair to implead channels which allegedly broadcasted source-based stories.
While hearing the petition moved by businessman Vijay Nair, the predecessor bench of Justice Yashwant Varma passed the above directions.
The bench also perused the status report and heard the submissions made by the counsel for the CBI and ED.
The counsel for CBI had submitted that the agency issued 4 press releases. The press releases do not contain what has been broadcast.
ED's counsel on the other hand had said that they did not issue any press release.
The bench had asked the counsels from where they are getting the information? The counsel replied that the channels can only answer this.

Advocate Nisha Bhambhani, the counsel for News Broadcaster and Digital Standard Authority (NBDSA) had submitted that some of the channels are not our partner. We do not monitor what they broadcast.
"If self regulation is mere eyewash, then why should we not disband you?," Justice Varma had asked the counsel for NBDSA while expressing displeasure over reportings made by news channels.
The bench had asked the counsel about certain channels whether they are members or not? Where from they are getting the information related to disclosure made to CBI.
You call them and ask them. The counsel for NBDA said that I can communicate and ask them to remove the content.
The counsel submitted that some of the channels are members of News Broadcaster and Digital Association (NBDA). I won't be able to tell where from they are getting the information.
After noting the submission the bench directed to Implead NBDA and examine what has been broadcasted. The bench had also directed to Implead 6 channels.
The court also said the broadcast in the instant matter were not according to the press releases issued and in accordance with the guidelines and directives. This constrained the petitioner to approach this court.
If the broadcast were not based on the press releases, then it is clear that information was leaked to the media concerning the investigation perform by the investigation agency, the court said.
Meanwhile the court had directed NBDSA to examine whether the channel complied with the guidelines.
Nair is an accused and in judicial custody in a case related to New Excise policy. (ANI)