Court sends SC staffers to police custody for posting wrong info on website

A Delhi court on Monday sent two sacked Supreme Court staffers to seven days in police custody for allegedly posting wrong information on the apex court's website related to a case involving Reliance Communications chairman Anil Ambani.

Metropolitan Magistrate Sumeet Anand allowed the Delhi Police to interrogate Tapan Kumar Chakraborty and Manav Sharma, who were arrested on Sunday, for seven days, observing that the offence was serious in nature as it pertained to interference with the apex court's proceedings.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on April 15, when the accused will again be produced before it.

After the January incident, the accused were dismissed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

The police sought seven days remand of both the accused on the grounds that they needed to identify the involvement of other persons in the alleged offence.

The counsel of Kumar and Sharma opposed the plea for police remand, claiming that there was no ground for their arrest and that the accused have been falsely implicated.

They told the court that the alleged offence took place in January and the FIR was registered in March but they were not arrested earlier as there was no need for their custodial interrogation.

The accused have been fully cooperating with the investigating officer and no purpose would be served by keeping them in custody, the defence counsel submitted.

The counsel claimed that the job profile of the accused does not provide them any occasion whatsoever to tamper with the record and it was not their duty to upload the orders on website and the orders were uploaded only after the requisite procedures of checking the orders was conducted by persons concerned.

The duo had allegedly uploaded an apex court order, which said Ambani's presence in a case had been dispensed with, despite the court ordering that he be present for the next hearing, police said.

The top court had sacked the two court officials for tampering with its January 7 order on the issue of personal appearance of Reliance Communication Chairman Anil Ambani in connection with the contempt matter filed against him by Swedish telecom group Ericsson.

Justice Gogoi has passed directions to terminate the services of the two court officials who were responsible for noting the judge's orders and getting them uploaded on the apex court's website.

Justice R F Nariman, who was dealing with Ambani's case, had forwarded a complaint to the CJI that the order in the matter for the presence of the contemnor was not properly found in it.

The order dictated had stated that the personal appearance of the alleged contemnor(s) is not dispensed with, but it found the word 'not' was missing.

The discrepancy in this regard was brought to the notice of the bench on January 10 by senior advocate Dushyant Dave, who was appearing for Ericsson.

Taking note of the fact, an order was passed by the Chief Justice on administrative side dismissing the two employees.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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