SC chides section of media on 2G spectrum reporting

SC today chided a section of the media for "casting aspersions" on the integrity of Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium and senior counsel T R Andhyarujina appearing for former Telecom Minister A Raja in the 2G spectrum case.

Last Updated: Nov 17, 2010, 00:48 AM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today chided a
section of the media for "casting aspersions" on the integrity
of Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium and senior counsel
T R Andhyarujina appearing for former Telecom Minister A Raja
in the 2G spectrum case.

As soon as the proceedings commenced, both the counsel
took strong exception to "aspersions" cast on them in media
reports vis-a-vis their alleged effort to pressurise the
counsel for the CBI and Enforcement Directorate to adopt a
common strategy on this issue.

"It is a question of the dignity of the entire members
of the bar. Nobody can be allowed to tarnish it," the Bench of
Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said while asserting that
it held Andhyarujina in high esteem.

"We know that a lawyer of your stature would not indulge
in such things. Nobody can imagine it also," the Bench said.

The remarks came after Andhyarujina expressed anguish
over the report which said Raja`s counsel had participated in
a strategic session along with the advocate for CBI and ED.

"Raja`s counsel is myself. I have never been to such a
meeting," he said and was supported by Subramanium who
described the entire episode as "unfortunate" which even put
the junior counsel, who is an advocate-on-record, in an
embarrassment.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who was appearing for an NGO
which has brought the 2G scam issue to the court, submitted
that there was no reason to disbelieve Andhyarujina but only
objectionable thing was that the counsel (Gopal Subramanium),
who met Raja`s counsel, was representing DoT (Department of
Telecommunication) and CBI.

Andhyarujina complained that when he spoke to the
reporter concerned, he got an "offensive" reply and his letter
to the Editor of the newspaper also failed to evoke any
response.

"I took up the matter with the gentleman and got an
offensive reply. I wrote to the Editor but did not get any
response," he said.

Subramanium maintained he was targeted for no fault of
his. He submitted that what he did in the case was a routine
practise.

"When the reporter got in touch with me, I told him I
have asked for the papers and paper book. This is a routine
practise that is followed in every case. The
advocate-on-record is put to such an embarrassing situation
because of such reports," he said.

At the end of the proceeding, the bench requested
the media not to misreport the proceedings.

"We request the members of the media here not to
misreport the proceedings. We respect the freedom of the
press. The underlying message is clear for the media," the
Bench said while rising for the day.

-PTI