The fast track court handling National Herald case on Monday dismissed senior Congress leader Motilal Vora‘s plea seeking to restrain complainant Subramanian Swamy from tweeting about the case and “derogatory language”, Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal rejected Vora’s plea, also an accused in the case, saying there was nothing to show that the tweets caused any damage to the trial of the case or any prejudice to the court.
Earlier in his arguments, Swamy said that apart from the principles of freedom of speech, the tweets (more than 2000) produced by Congress lawyers must be certified.
It is interesting to note that Sonia and Rahul never filed a complaint against Swamy’s Tweeting, though all the produced tweets by Vora were attacking mother and son. Vora, in his application, had alleged that Swamy was trying to influence the court proceedings with his tweets. He also accused Swamy of using derogatory language against Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi often in the social media platform. The court said the tweets cited by Vora “cannot be said to interfere with or obstruct the administration of justice nor can be said to prejudice the due course of any judicial proceedings, firstly because no such instance due to which the applicant can say this has either been stated in the application, nor has been put forth in the argument”.
“The trial is going on and has reached at the stage of evidence, and I am unable to find anything on record nor anything has been put forth to show that these tweets may have caused any damage to the trial or any prejudice to the court,” the judge said. It said “a court cannot prohibit any person from reporting the proceedings of a case unless it is shown that the reporting is patently and malafidely false.
“The tweets may not be happily worded from the point of view of the applicant or other accused, but how they interfere in the administration of justice or are prejudicial to the defence of the accused is not clear,” the court said, posting cross-examination of Swamy in the main case to January 11.
Earlier in his arguments, Swamy said that apart from the principles of freedom of speech, the tweets (more than 2000) produced by Congress lawyers must be certified. He said the lawyers demanded certification when he produced Income Tax documents and company records of Young Indian and Associated Journals Limited. Congress lawyers also accused Swamy of abusing them on Twitter by calling them “Congi lawyers”. During their arguments, Congress lawyers said that Swamy often used to call Sonia Gandhi as TDK, which means the devil Tadaka of Ramayan. Interestingly the lawyers never raised Swamy’s Tweets calling Rahul Gandhi as Buddhu.
Reacting to the Court order, Swamy thanked his lawyers Ishkaran Bhandari, Dilip Kumar, Ramni Taneja and his advocate wife Roxna Swamy. He said that after the starting of his cross-examination from January 11, he would demand for a daily hearing in the National Herald case from February.