Home > India, Indian media, Politics > 100 cr Award against Times Now – Has anyone got any award so fast?

100 cr Award against Times Now – Has anyone got any award so fast?


Can Indian judiciary be seen to be taking care of its own?

This award seems to fortify the impression that people have of the judiciary - so well represented in this cartoon. |  Cartoon by Manjul; Published on 26-12-2009; source and courtesy - manjul.com  |  Click for source image.

This award seems to fortify the impression that people have of the judiciary - so well represented in this cartoon. | Cartoon by Manjul; Published on 26-12-2009; source and courtesy - manjul.com | Click for source image.

Justice Verma, who chairs the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) set up by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), said he was reminded of an incident long back when a weekly magazine had published a photograph of Justice K Ramaswamy instead of Justice V Ramaswami in an article relating to the impeachment of Justice V Ramaswami.

“At that time, every one of us in the Supreme Court, including Justice K Ramaswamy himself, just ignored it because no one could attribute anything wrong to Justice K Ramaswamy, whose photo had been wrongly published instead of that of Justice V Ramaswami,” he said.

The Supreme Court earlier in the day had refused to interfere with a Mumbai High Court order under which Times Now news channel was asked to deposit Rs 20 crore in cash and to give a bank guarantee of Rs 80 crore before its appeal against a trial court award of damages of Rs 100 crore to former apex court judge P B Sawant could be heard.

On a defamation suit by Justice Sawant, the Pune district court had ordered the company to pay him Rs 100 crore as damages. (via news.outlookindia.com | Wish Justice Sawant Ignored Media Lapse: Justice Verma).

3 questions that are troubling me

Has anyone got any case resolved so fast – from the Pune District Court to the Supreme Court, and back.

So very fast.

Has any other litigant won any award which was anywhere even close to this. Say 1% or 2% of this award?

The Lordships may end up promoting a belief that the judiciary is taking care of its own. Is that the impression that the Indian judiciary wants to promote?


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  1. November 18, 2011 at 2:29 am

    May be you are right.
    The Judges seem to have the old boys net work syndrome and any thing that touches a Judge is frowned upon and in many a case Contempt of Court is slapped against those who speak against a judge.
    Be it as it may,Electronic media also crosses the limit in conditioning the people by airing stories which are Opinion sowing.
    In this case TimesNow, may be at fault only technically but in many a case it has crossed journalistic ethics.
    Also,take the case of Barkha Dutt of NDTV,or Vir Sanghvi,who were in deep conversation with Nira Radia.
    What happened to them?
    The Fourth Estate is also equally guilty of the same misdemeanor as the Court in protecting their own.

  2. November 18, 2011 at 3:09 am
    To my mind these three questions are important.

    Media is a private sector of the system – and we are completely free to ignore, respect, have contempt or respect it. The media does not have statutory powers to punish, imprison, kill someone – like courts do.

    Hence, at no time can media be equated to the judiciary.

    I am not even questioning or examining the guilt or the severity of the ‘crime’ by Times Now. I am assuming that the ‘guilt’ of Times Now – and also crediting the severity of the ‘crime’. If guilty of a ‘severe’ crime, is this unprecedented speed, quantum of the award justified?

  3. Kumar Iyer
    November 18, 2011 at 4:17 am

    ///Media is a private sector of the system – and we are completely free to ignore, respect, have contempt or respect it///

    True. The choice is with the public,no doubt. However, considering the way these 24×7 channels blare endlessly drumming out filth in most cases one has to take into account the gullible masses who believe the same in its entirety. Hence there has to be some kind of a “watch” on the fourth estate to see that they should not cross their mandate. I welcome Justice Katju’s remark on media in this regard.

    ///I am not even questioning or examining the guilt or the severity of the ‘crime’ by Times Now//

    It is high time to question the erroneous news broadcast of whether it is Times Now or any other channel. They have a moral duty towards the public as an opinion maker and thus carry a huge responsibility.

  4. November 18, 2011 at 6:34 am

    high time to question the erroneous news broadcast of whether it is Times Now or any other channel

    Good point. I do not disagree.

    Do you want to question the media – or silence them with a Rs.100 cr fine – and no respite of appeal. Do you want the right to question and readdress – or you want only a few to have the right?

    This case amply proves that in the current system, only the powerful and connected few can question – and get redress.

    there has to be some kind of a “watch” on the fourth estate to see that they should not cross their mandate. I welcome Justice Katju’s remark on media in this regard.

    I think Justice Katju is completely off the mark.

    He wants to police what the media says. He (or anyone else) has no business to stop me from saying what I want – and to stop you from reading and seeing what I present.

    The ‘Platonic-Confucian’ model of ‘wise-men’ who will decide for us is completely out of line. I am quite happy with the Press Council kind of weak oversight.

  5. Kumar Iyer
    November 18, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Anuragji. The way our media has been acting irresponsibly and blatantly unethical these days, I firmly believe that they need to be reined in a bit. You may find this hard to digest. Media which has the immense power to influence people, opinions and even influence the outcome of elections is not in the private domain, I dare say. All the channels (TV) in every Indian state is being owned and run by local political leaders and thus their mouth piece. You have the sagarikas/sardesai/burka/sanghvi/karan thapar et all all clamouring to be mouth piece to some political party.Given a choice whether it is better to have a corrupt politicians or corrupt media I will settle for th3e former. The blatant way in which Sri Sri was made to look like a fool in FTN show sagarika reached new heights at deception and lying. The need tTO be REINED. When you lie in a court it is perjury. When you lie to the nation it is a unhealable injury.

  6. November 18, 2011 at 11:00 am

    The way our media has been acting irresponsibly and blatantly unethical these days, I firmly believe that they need to be reined in a bit. You may find this hard to digest. Given a choice whether it is better to have a corrupt politicians or corrupt media I will settle for th3e former.

    As long as you are comfortable with your point of view – you dont need a 2ndlook.

    To my mind, advertising-led media needs to show that it is more useful and with power than the reality. On the other hand, the effect of abuse of power is usually underestimated.

  1. November 18, 2011 at 2:46 am

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