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No copy-paste in the P Chidambaram's bail plea order, clarifies Delhi HC

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Summary

After the Delhi High Court dismissed the bail petition of P Chidambara, a rumor surfaced on mainstream news media and all over the internet that in its judgment, the Delhi High Court has copy-pasted and mixed some facts, from an old and unrelated 2017 case. However, on Monday the Delhi Court put out a clarification that the mention of the ‘Rohit Tandon Vs Enforcement Directorate’ case in paragraph 35 of the verdict was just reference purposes.

On 15th November, the Delhi High Court dismissed the bail petition of P Chidambaram, arrested in the INX Money laundering case. The former union minister has spent about 90 days in jail, in a case filed by Enforcement Directorate. As soon as Justice Kait passed the 41-page verdict dismissing the bail plea, a rumor surfaced on mainstream news media and all over the internet that in its judgment, the Delhi High Court has copy-pasted and mixed some facts, from an old and unrelated 2017 case. 

Media houses like The Print, The Wire and The Hindu published reports claiming the same. 

Journalist Shekhar Gupta and Dhanya Rajendran also put out a tweet claiming a fallacy in the Delhi High court judgment.

The Truth behind this claim

Following the various articles published by media houses, the Delhi Court put out a clarification that the mention of the ‘Rohit Tandon Vs Enforcement Directorate’ case in paragraph 35 of the verdict was just reference purposes. 

Para 35 of the verdict, dismissing the bail petition of P Chidamram states:

“It is alleged that during the period from 15.11.2016 to 19.11.2016 huge cash to the tune of Rs. 31.75 crores were deposited in eight bank accounts in Kotak Mahindra Bank in the accounts of ‘group of companies’. It gives details of demand draft issued from 15.11.2016 to 19.11.2016 from eight bank accounts in the name of Sunil Kumar, Dinesh Kumar, Abhilasha Dubey, Madan Kumar, Madan Saini, Satya Narain Dagdi and Seema Bai on various dates. Most of the Demand Drafts issued have since been recovered.”

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, who pronounced the order last week, took up the issue suo motu on Monday, pursuant to an article by The Hindu alleging a copy-paste mishap in the order. He has clarified that the “observations made in para 35 shall be read as and are confined to the case of ‘Rohit Tandon vs Enforcement Directorate’.

After a clarification put out by the Delhi High Court, The Tribune and The wire reported the same. The court has also directed the chief editors of two newspapers(The Indian Express and The Hindu), who have published the “wrong averments”, to clarify the same in their respective newspapers on Tuesday.

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