In a costly mix-up Times Now showed the pic of Justice PB Sawant as being involved in some scam. The consequence was a 100 crore defamation damage slapped on the channel. I am not aware of the status of that case but given the media’s tendency to sensationalise allegations and tar reputations such cases will multiply. In fact, I would go a step further and suggest more people should sue the media for defamation when they are victims of such malice. India Today has lately developed a sense of humour and is handing out “Foot-in-mouth” awards. This one is not out of place:
Following Farooq Abdullah’s comment there was a huge outrage in the media. The nonsensical debates over a petty, sarcastic remark had the usual outrage-specialists from NCW, the Kavita Krishnans, the Big Bindis and assorted nuts from politics. I had heard Abdullah making that comment and though it maybe tasteless, it was nothing more than ill-timed sarcasm over the accusations against Justice AK Ganguly (AKG) and certainly didn’t warrant such a big outrage. A foot-in-mouth award was all it deserved. So some law intern named Stella James made some allegations of sexual harassment against AKG and predictably our media went into overdrive and started hounding him with demands of resignation from his post of Human Rights Commission Head in Bengal. Note the fine print in the above pic from India Today. It says “a panel of judges found Justice AKG guilty of sexual misconduct”. This is the manner in which our MSM lies and misleads people. The SC panel found a “prima facie” case to be taken further. It did not rule AKG “guilty” as our media morons have concluded.
While Abdullah may have made his silly comment at a wrong moment one cannot discount the possibility that an aggrieved (and vindictive) woman in a work place or elsewhere can make these allegations for multiple reasons and the accused will go through a terrible ordeal. Following the accusations against AKG the one who has been most vociferously seeking action against him is Indira Jaising the additional solicitor general. Frankly, I haven’t seen so much of Jaising on TV as in this particular case which does create doubts about her motives. The SC did not intervene further in the issue as AKG was a “retired” judge, which is something Jaising omitted in her appeal to the court. She even got an affidavit from Stella James confirming the allegations which have reportedly been made after a year of the incident. What’s an affidavit worth? Why don’t they just file a police complaint and let the State prosecute AKG in accordance with law? Jaising has not been so much in the news in the past except for this one incident of her misbehaviour in court last year:
That’s from The Telegraph and the incident happened in July 2013 when the judge pulled up Jaising for contempt of court but chose to accept her apology. Do read up on the whole story. Jaising’s behaviour in the media in the AKG case has not been very different. Kicking and screaming, extreme outrage is how I would categorise her conduct. Naturally, it forces people to ask if there is any special motive behind it. I too do not feel convinced based on what I’ve seen that there is a strong case. As usual the media morons, particularly from Times Now, started hounding AKG wherever he went, including his morning walk around his Kolkata residence. The Centre, given its enthusiasm to hang others to keep covering up its crimes, made a presidential reference to the SC to sack AKG. And then a lady turned up from somewhere to file a PIL in SC claiming all allegations against AKG are malicious and motivated. Here’s the opening remark from a TOI report:
“UK-educated doctor M Padma Narayan Singh, who said she was daughter of 'legendary' former judge P N Singh, in her PIL was critical of the manner in which the system - criminal law, police, media, judiciary and government - operates in India, in stark contrast to western world, resulting in abuse of process and maligning personalities, in this case justice Ganguly”.
Padma Narayan is probably referring to “justice systems” in the UK and other countries but when it comes to the news media they are as terrible in the UK as they are in India. They are scavengers hanging around to feast on anyone they can hang. Sometimes, they leave a person so scarred that return to a normal life for their target becomes impossible or at least very difficult. We’ll look up a few. There’s British politician Lord McAlpine who was wrongly accused and tarred by the media as a paedophile:
Fox News: The BBC’s flagship evening current affairs show, "Newsnight," earlier this month incorrectly linked Lord McAlpine, a former treasurer of the Conservative Party, with a sexual abuse scandal at a children’s home in Wrexham, north Wales, in the 1980s.While McAlpine was not named, the blanks were quickly filled in online and on social media, prompting the former adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to publicly deny the allegations. The program was forced to apologize for the report, after it emerged that McAlpine was wrongly identified and was not contacted prior to the report's airing. The BBC said in a statement late Thursday it would pay McAlpine $293,000 plus legal costs. "The settlement is comprehensive and reflects the gravity of the allegations that were wrongly made," the corporation said. (Also read the report at DailyMail). Padma Narayan who has filed a PIL in the SC to drop all the allegations against AKG has made some stunning claims:
“The PIL petitioner threw in a new spin by alleging the controversy was conspiracy hatched by Mohun Bagan. In this well planned conspiracy against justice A K Ganguly, the Mohun Bagan has used the female intern who had prepared the case report on Mohun Bagan in the above said arbitration matter between Mohun Bagan and All India Football Federation, in New Delhi in December 2012. AIFF also corroborates the said conspiracy." "Mohun Bagan managing director Anjan Mitra has now sent a letter to AIFF president Praful Patel, asking him to review the judgment passed by justice A K Ganguly on the ground of his so-called 'questionable integrity' as he has been accused by the said female law intern of sexually harassing her," Singh said”.
There is already a belief that AKG is being targeted by certain vested interests because he cancelled 122 scam-ridden 2G licences along with another judge. The fresh theory claims the allegations were manufactured by the football club Mohun Bagan over a case which was arbitrated by AKG and went against them. There is a definite problem with the “she said, he said” kind of allegations. Only an impartial inquiry where both parties can testify should be the basis for prosecution or resignation of AKG. The suspicion that this is another witch-hunt by some quarters arises because the Congress govt at the Centre has earned this reputation. Regardless of what the political and other interests that operate behind such cases the media has no business to hound and target AKG the way it has done. It has no business declaring someone guilty. In particular, Arnab Goswami, whose channel has been slapped with the 100 crore defamation damages, is permanently in a “Kangaroo court” mode where he wantonly decides who is guilty and who is not. Should this continue I would be happy if another 1000 crores are slapped on the TOI group and maybe also the others. The biggest criminals who mindlessly tar reputations are in the media (Remember Shankaracharya? Remember Sadhvi Pragya?). Here’s another one:
“Christopher Jefferies, the man wrongly arrested by police in the hunt for the murderer of Joanna Yeates, has given a graphic account of how he was vilified by the press. The retired teacher, who was Miss Yeates's landlord, was libelled by eight newspapers following his arrest on suspicion of her murder. Police later exonerated Mr Jefferies and he then successfully sued eight newspapers for libel. Two national newspapers, The Sun and The Mirror, were prosecuted for contempt of court for their reporting of the episode. The former Clifton College teacher described how some of the newspapers painted him as a "dark, macabre, sinister villain" having mistakenly believed that because he had been arrested on suspicion of murder he must be the killer. He also lambasted some of the reporting of the murder inquiry as "lazy and casually inaccurate"… "We're talking about the tabloid press here so just to be a sexual predator isn't quite spicy enough”. Read the whole horrible story at Huffington Post.
While Jefferies’ witch-hunt didn’t have anything to do with politics, most of the witch-hunt by the Indian media has everything to do with political stakes or political backing or with our media’s anti-Hindu campaign. If you read carefully, the Jefferies story is no different from the Shankaracharya story. The latter too was declared a murderer by our criminal media. AKG stood his ground so far but news is that he has finally decided to resign. It’s simple; now the media and his detractors will once again scream claiming it as a sign of his “guilt”. I guess for a retired judge he may have found it more prudent to resign instead of bearing anymore of the witch-hunt. Looks like we will never know if “His honour” was guilty or not. That's as good as being found guilty without even a trial.
In the case of Christopher Jefferies his victimisation by media is now being made into a two-part TV film called “The lost honour”. In the West there is at least a price to pay for defamation. In India our media criminals mostly get away with slander without having to pay a price. We should hope that will change and we don’t have to make movies like “The lost honour”.