Plea seeking live telecast or recording of Ayodhya case be listed before CJI: SC

The Supreme Court on Friday said a plea seeking live telecast or recording of the hearing in the Ayodhya land dispute case be listed before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by the CJI is hearing the Ayodhya land dispute case.

The plea, filed by former RSS ideologue K N Govindacharya seeking live streaming or recording of the Ayodhya case proceedings, came up before a bench of justices R F Nariman and Surya Kant.

The bench after hearing the brief submission of senior advocate Vikas Singh, who was representing Govindacharya, said the matter should come up for hearing before a bench presided over by the CJI.

Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJI

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Saturday said there is a need to look at the role and functioning of lawyers and understand why a law graduate’s natural choice is not the legal profession in spite of great attractions and opportunities.

The CJI said lawyers act as advocates and advisors of litigants and help them secure their rights under the law. While working for their clients, they interpret and mould the law and help the judges in laying down the legal propositions that have binding effects on the future generations.

Justice Gogoi, who was speaking at the seventh annual convocation of National Law University here, added that the purpose of law schools is to bring out lawyers who would serve the country as prospective leaders of the bar, adjudicators on the bench and educators and teachers.

He said it is time now for introspection and analyse as to whether the five-year law course, a combined degree in law and arts, has met its ambitions.

He said the five-year law school model has not entirely failed in achieving the purpose, but it has also not brought about the expected transformation.

“National law schools have sought to foster intensive five-year course, combined degree in law and arts. This initiative was on a strong commitment to improve existing legal infrastructure. Indeed with this ambition, five-year law schools have spearheaded critical changes in syllabi and structure to bring up new generation of lawyers who will think more critically and analyse comprehensive and argue articulately,” the CJI said.

He said it must be asked as to how many law schools are serving the purpose they were designed for and added that the primary reason for setting up the five-year law schools was to strengthen the bar.

Besides Justice Gogoi, Delhi High Court Chief Justice D N Patel, who is the chancellor of the NLU, Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia, Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev, NLU vice chancellor Ranbir Singh and registrar G S Bajpai were also present in the programme.

Degrees were conferred on the students of LLM and BA. LLB courses and the toppers were also awarded with gold medals and cash prizes.

Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev was also awarded a degree in LLM professional course and a gold medal.

Justice Gogoi said the five-year model was aimed at developing socially conscious lawyers who serve society by developing skills in the field of advocacy, legal aid, legislation or reforms and also organise lectures, conferences and promote legal knowledge.

“One will necessarily have to look on the role and functioning of lawyers and try and understand why in spite of great attractions and opportunities that the legal profession offers, the law graduates natural choice is not the legal profession, he said.

He added that lawyers also act as adjudicators, negotiators and mediators and they are great educators too. Career in law firms and corporates have become popular choices and continue to remain so, the CJI said, adding that the highly attractive career at the bar and the bench also needs to be highlighted.

Practice of law is a reasonably lucrative profession. I do not wish to be drawn into the financial side of the legal profession… All that I would like to say is that the issue is left to the members of the bar to ponder and decide, the CJI said.

He also spoke about the hefty fee structures in law schools and said “if existing fee structure acts as economical barrier to education, then in a country like ours, it is nothing short of a tragedy”.

A lawyer’s mind is always an open mind, he can take any case and fight it out within the framework of law. “Until and unless the bar is strong, our legal system cannot function efficiently,” he said.

Bar is a feeder to benches also. Most of the judges in the higher judiciary are drawn from the bar, he said.

Let me tell you life at this side of the bar, the bench, is not bad. I have been on this for 20 years now. The levels of satisfaction are very high, the CJI said.

On freedom of choice, he said, Say no and a big no to anything and everything that appear to your mind to be morally and actually regressive. Say yes to everything which you think can be offered to anybody.

CJI writes to Prime Minister, seeks increase in number of Supreme Court judges

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking to increase the strength of judges and raise the retirement age of high court judges to 65 years.

Gogoi has also urged the prime minister to make tenure appointments of retired apex court judges and high court judges under Articles 128 and 224A of the Constitution respectively to clear backlog of cases pending for years.

The CJI, who wrote three letters to the PM, said there was a pendency of 58,669 cases in the top court and the number was increasing due to filing of more fresh cases.

Due to paucity of judges, the required number of Constitution benches to decide important cases involving questions of law were not being formed, the CJI said.

“You would recall that way back in 1988, about three decades ago, the judge strength of the SC was increased from 18 to 26, and then again after two decades in 2009, it was increased to 31, including the CJI, to expedite disposal of cases to keep pace with the rate of institution,” he wrote.

“I request you to kindly consider, on top priority, to augment the judge-strength in the SC appropriately so that it can function more efficiently and effectively as it will go a long way to attain ultimate goal of rendering timely justice to the litigant public,” Gogoi wrote.

He said that though the size of the feeder cadre of chief justice and judges of the high courts has increased in the past yet the strength has not been increased proportionally in the top court.

In his second letter, the CJI urged Modi to consider bringing a constitutional amendment to increase the retirement age of high court judges from 62 to 65 years.

“One of the prime reasons why we are not able to contain the ever-growing pendency is shortage of HC judges. At present, 399 posts, or 37 per cent of sanctioned judge-strength, are vacant. The existing vacancies need to be filled immediately. However, despite best efforts put in by all stakeholders, it has not been possible to appoint judges to bring the working judge-strength anywhere close to the sanctioned judge-strength,” Gogoi wrote.

The CJI also wrote that the retirement age of high court judges should be raised by three years to 65 years.

“This, in turn, would help in improving the vacancy position and consequently reducing pendency of cases. This would also be in consonance with the (repeated) recommendations made by parliamentary standing committees,” he wrote.

Gogoi further said, “A judge takes time to evolve and by the time he is in a position to put innovative thoughts based on rich experience to practice, he finds himself nearing retirement. This can be avoided if the age of retirement is raised to an appropriate level so that his vast experience, deeper insight and expertise can be utilised for a longer period.”

“In my view also, if retired HC judges are considered for appointment in tribunals beyond the age of 62 years, they may continue in HCs up to 65 years. The proposal suggested will ensure continued availability of more experiences judges for a longer tenure,” he wrote.

Supreme Court on Karnataka tussle: Trend of past judgments not to restrain Guv

With the Karnataka power tussle turning into a midnight courtroom battle, the Supreme Court said the general trend of its past judgments was not to restrain the governor, as it heard a plea by the Congress-JD(S) combine against the governor’s decision to invite BJP’s B S Yeddyurappa to form the government.

The apex court also asked can it restrain the governor from inviting a party to form the government, to which senior lawyer and Congress leader A M Singhvi said the Supreme Court had done so in the past.

The court said was it not a convention that the single largest party gets invited by governor to form government and prove majority.

The three-judge bench, comprising justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, said they are wondering whether the Supreme Court can restrain the governor that might lead to constitutional vacuum in the state.

The court also observed that the general trend of its past judgements was not to issue injunction or restrain the governor.

With Singhvi arguing that the Constitution gives immunity to governor only for discharge of duties, the bench asked whether he wanted the court to scrutinise discretion of the governor when it does not have the letter given to Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala that was the basis for inviting the BJP to form the government.

Arguing on behalf of the Congress and JD(S), Singhvi told the bench, constituted by Chief Justice Dipak Misra to hear the matter, that the governor has negated democracy by not calling the alliance commanding majority in Karnataka.

“It is the biggest license to poaching if the governor gives 15 days to BJP to prove majority as in earlier such cases 48 hours were given by SC,” Singhvi said.

He said the BJP has 104 MLAs and Governor invited B S Yeddyurappa to form govt in “unconstitutional manner”, even as JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy along with the Congress has 116 MLAs supporting him.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing BJP and B S Yeddyurappa, said no injunction can be issued to the governor.

The bench commenced hearing on the matter at 2:11 AM. Attorney General K K Venugopal and ASG Maninder Singh were also in court on behalf of the Centre.

Hours after the Congress-JD(S) appraoched the CJI for an urgent hearing, the Supreme Court decided to hear the late night petition filed by the Congress and the JD(S) challenging Governor Vala’s decision to invite the BJP to form the government in the southern state.

The joint petition by the KPCC president G Parameshwara and H D Kumaraswamy sought a stay on the oath-taking ceremony, as communicated by the governor to the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa.

In its midnight legal push, the Congress and JD (S) approached the Supreme Court seeking an immediate intervention by the chief justice to stay the move, which it termed as an “encounter of the Constitution”.

The Congress urged Chief Justice Misra to hold an urgent hearing tonight itself since Yeddyurappa is slated to take oath as chief minister at 9 am tomorrow.

Singhvi said the party sought hearing on its petition challenging the governor’s decision tonight itself.

The Congress termed the governor’s decision as “murder of democracy and trampling of Constitution”.

Earlier in the evening, Vala invited Yeddyurappa to form the government and take oath as chief minister tomorrow. He also asked Yeddyurappa to seek a vote of confidence within 15 days of assuming office.

Singhvi, who has been assigned the task to lead Congress’ legal challenge against Vala’s decision, had met the Supreme Court registrar to take forward the process to hear the “urgent petition”.

The Congress has termed the move to form a BJP government in Karnataka as “illegal and against the law and Constitution.”

The petition prepared by advocate Dev Dutt Kamath contended that despite presenting the list of 116 MLAs, governor Vala has invited the BJP which has 104 MLAs to form the government and has given relatively longer time of 15 days to prove the majority on the floor of the House.

Kamath and other advocates earlier met the registrar for putting the petition before CJI Misra for constituting the bench.

The Congress has also said that granting 15 days’ time to Yeddyurappa to prove majority on the floor of the House will promote horse trading, alleging that BJP will resort to poaching of MLAs of Congress and JD(S).

The BJP has emerged as the single largest party in the southern state winning 104 seats, but is short of a simple majority.

On the other hand, the Congress and JD(S), which have already announced post-poll tie-up, have won 78 and 37 seats respectively and claimed before Vala to have numbers to form government in the state.

Relief for CJI as Cong MPs withdraw plea on impeachment from Supreme Court

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra today got a relief after two Congress MPs, challenging Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu’s order rejecting the impeachment notice against him, withdrew their petitions from the Supreme Court.

The top court expressed its reluctance to go into their contention questioning the setting up of a larger bench to hear the matter.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice A K Sikri declared the petitions moved by the two MPs as “dismissed as withdrawn” after senior advocate and party leader Kapil Sibal, appearing for the MPs, decided not to press the pleas realising that the judges were not inclined to accept his arguments.

Sibal had sought to know who had ordered the listing of the matter before a larger bench and sought a copy of the order, saying this was necessary to enable them decide whether or not to challenge it.

The 45-minute hearing before the bench, which also comprised Justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana, Arun Mishra and A K Goel, saw Sibal appearing for the Rajya Sabha Congress MPs–Partap Singh Bajwa from Punjab and Amee Harshadray Yajnik from Gujarat– raising questions over the setting up of the five-judge bench to hear the matter.

However, Attorney General K K Venugopal sought dismissal of the petitions filed by Bajwa and Yajnik, pointing out that only two of the over 60 members, who had earlier moved the impeachment notice in the Upper House of Parliament, have approached the apex court.

Venugopal said only two MPs from one party, the Congress, have moved the court when there were MPs from six other opposition parties who had moved a notice of impeachment motion before the Rajya Sabha chairman.

The AG said “the presumption is that all others have not supported the stand taken by the Congress party to challenge the rejection of impeachment notice by Naidu.”

He also claimed that the two Congress MPs have not been authorised by rest of the MPs to file the petition in the apex court. As many as 64 Rajya Sabha MPs had signed the notice of impeachment against the CJI, which was rejected by Naidu on April 23.

Before Attorney General opened his arguments, Sibal raised a volley of questions on the setting up of the constitution bench, including who had passed the order to set up such a bench to hear the matter.

The senior advocate said the matter was listed before the five-judge bench through an administrative order and the Chief Justice of India cannot pass such orders in this matter and sought a copy of the order, saying it was necessary for them to decide whether they could challenge it.

The bench repeatedly asked Sibal whether any purpose would be served if the two MPs were given a copy of the administrative order passed by the CJI for setting up of the five-judge bench.

“It is a piquant and unprecedented situation where CJI is a party and other four judges may also have some role. We don’t know,” the bench said.

Sibal said only after getting a copy of the order could they decide whether or not to challenge it.

However, when the bench showed reluctance to accept his arguments and submissions, the senior advocate decided to withdraw the petition.

The start of the hearing witnessed two advocates intervening and opposing the appearance of Sibal for the Congress MPs on the ground that he himself was a signatory to the impeachment notice before the Rajya Sabha chairman.

However, the bench did not accept their reasoning and went ahead with the hearing.

The two Congress MPs had yesterday moved the apex court challenging the rejection of the impeachment notice against the CJI by Naidu, claiming that the reasons given were “wholly extraneous” and not legally tenable.

Sibal had then mentioned the matter for urgent listing before a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar, the senior-most after CJI Misra.

While Justice Chelameswar initially asked him to mention it before the CJI, the bench, which also comprised Justice S K Kaul, later asked Sibal and advocate Prashant Bhushan to “come back tomorrow”.

Late last evening, the matter was listed for hearing today before the five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice Sikri.

The Rajya Sabha Chairman had on April 23 rejected the notice, given by seven opposition parties led by the Congress for impeachment of the CJI on five grounds of “misbehaviour”. This was the first time that an impeachment notice was filed against a sitting CJI.

The petition filed by the MPs had alleged that the charges contained in the notice of motion were extremely serious and called for a full fledged inquiry

Indu Malhotra takes oath as Supreme Court judge

Senior advocate Indu Malhotra was today administered the oath of office as a Supreme Court judge by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, making her the first woman lawyer to enter the top judiciary directly.
With Malhotra joining the bench, the strength of the Supreme Court is now 25, against the sanctioned strength of 31, including the CJI.

Malhotra was administered the oath of office and secrecy in a ceremony held at court number 1 in the apex court.

D Raja on impeachment: Will examine grounds of rejection

CPI leader D Raja, part of the opposition led by Congress which moved the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India, today said the concerned parties would have to examine the grounds on which the notice has been rejected by Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu.

“Concerned parties will have to examine the grounds on which the motion has been rejected by the Vice President. We will have to consult among us, especially who moved the motion,” Raja said, adding the Left and other parties which have submitted the motion would hold consultations to decide the future course.

“We have to share our views and decide on the future course of action. We will consult among left parties and all other parties,” the CPI National Secretary said.

Naidu today rejected the impeachment motion moved against the CJI saying it lacked substantial merit. The rejection of the notice came a day after he held the consultations to determine the maintainability of the motion.

Seven opposition parties, including the CPI, had last week moved a notice before Naidu for impeachment of the CJI on five grounds of “misbehaviour”.

Supreme Court to examine Shanti Bhushan’s PIL on allocation of cases

The Supreme Court today decided to examine a PIL filed by former law minister Shanti Bhushan challenging the existing roster practice of allocation of cases by the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan sought the assistance of Attorney General K K Venugopal and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in dealing with the PIL stating that the CJI cannot exercise arbitrary power in allocation of cases.

However, the bench took objection when Bhushan’s counsel made an attempt to bring to its notice the unprecedented January 12 press conference held by four of the court’s most senior judges — Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — who had accused Chief Justice Dipak Misra of arbitrarily allocating cases.

“We are not going to go into it. We are not concerned with it for many reasons and obvious reasons. Don’t say all this,” the bench said.

The apex court will now hear the matter on April 27.

The bench said it has already held that the CJI is the ‘master of roster’.

The bench was referring to the apex court’s April 11 verdict, which said the Chief Justice of India is the “first among equals” and occupies a unique position with the “exclusive prerogative” to allocate cases and set up benches to hear cases.

At the outset, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Shanti Bhushan, said the petition raises the substantial question of interpretation of constitutional provisions and also questions how matters are being listed in the apex court contrary to the Supreme Court Rules.

Dave claimed the CJI was exercising his power only in in exceptional matters but the apex court registry should be bound by its own rules.

“In democracy there is nothing called absolute discretion,” he said, questioning the manner in which some sensitive cases were assigned to particular benches in the top court.

He also clarified that they were not against any individual and don’t propose to make any personal allegations against anyone.

The bench, however, said it would be “very difficult” to decide which was a sensitive matter and which was not.

“As far as CJI being the ‘master of roster’ is concerned, there is no dispute. In a way you are challenging the manner in which this power is exercised,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was also in the court room, said they had come to the court “with a heavy heart”.

“The problem is that we are troubled. Truly troubled. We are not against any individual. This is the highest court of this land. We have to respect the institution. We are troubled how it is being handled today. We are not attributing any motives,” Sibal said.

The bench, after hearing the submissions, told ASG Tushar Mehta, who was present in the court room, that it would like to have the assistance of the attorney general or him in the matter.

Bhushan’s petition came up for hearing a day after a bench headed by Justice Chelameswar, who is the most senior judge after the CJI, refused to order its listing saying he did not want his order to be reversed again in 24 hours.

After Chelameswar’s refusal, Bhushan’s son and advocate Prashant Bhushan mentioned the matter before a bench headed by the CJI which had allocated it for hearing before a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri, who is number six in seniority.

When Shanti Bhushan filed the PIL, Prashant Bhushan had written to the secretary general of the apex court stating that the matter should not be listed before a bench that includes the CJI.

The petition names the CJI as one of the respondents along with the registrar of the Supreme Court.

In his PIL, Shanti Bhushan has stated that the “master of roster” cannot be unguided and unbridled discretionary power, exercised arbitrarily by the CJI by hand-picking benches of select judges or by assigning cases to particular judges.

The petition said the CJI’s authority as the master of roster is “not an absolute, arbitrary, singular power that is vested in the chief justice alone and which may be exercised with his sole discretion”.

It said that such an authority should be exercised by the CJI in consultation with the senior judges of the Supreme Court in keeping with the various pronouncements of the court.

The petition assumes significance in light of the January 12 press conference when the judges said the situation in the top court was “not in order” and many “less than desirable” things have taken place.

Supreme Court to examine Shanti Bhushan’s PIL on allocation of cases

The Supreme Court today decided to examine a PIL filed by former law minister Shanti Bhushan challenging the existing roster practice of allocation of cases by the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan sought the assistance of Attorney General K K Venugopal and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in dealing with the PIL stating that the CJI cannot exercise arbitrary power in allocation of cases.

However, the bench took objection when Bhushan’s counsel made an attempt to bring to its notice the unprecedented January 12 press conference held by four of the court’s most senior judges — Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph — who had accused Chief Justice Dipak Misra of arbitrarily allocating cases.

“We are not going to go into it. We are not concerned with it for many reasons and obvious reasons. Don’t say all this,” the bench said.

The supreme court will now hear the matter on April 27. The bench said it has already held that the CJI is the ‘master of roster’.

The bench was referring to the apex court’s April 11 verdict, which said the Chief Justice of India is the “first among equals” and occupies a unique position with the “exclusive prerogative” to allocate cases and set up benches to hear cases.

At the outset, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Shanti Bhushan, said the petition raises the substantial question of interpretation of constitutional provisions and also questions how matters are being listed in the apex court contrary to the Supreme Court Rules.

Dave claimed the CJI was exercising his power only in in exceptional matters but the supreme court registry should be bound by its own rules.

“In democracy there is nothing called absolute discretion,” he said, questioning the manner in which some sensitive cases were assigned to particular benches in the top court.

He also clarified that they were not against any individual and don’t propose to make any personal allegations against anyone.

The bench, however, said it would be “very difficult” to decide which was a sensitive matter and which was not.

“As far as CJI being the ‘master of roster’ is concerned, there is no dispute. In a way you are challenging the manner in which this power is exercised,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was also in the court room, said they had come to the court “with a heavy heart”.

“The problem is that we are troubled. Truly troubled. We are not against any individual. This is the highest court of this land. We have to respect the institution. We are troubled how it is being handled today. We are not attributing any motives,” Sibal said.

The bench, after hearing the submissions, told ASG Tushar Mehta, who was present in the court room, that it would like to have the assistance of the attorney general or him in the matter.

Bhushan’s petition came up for hearing a day after a bench headed by Justice Chelameswar, who is the most senior judge after the CJI, refused to order its listing saying he did not want his order to be reversed again in 24 hours.

After Chelameswar’s refusal, Bhushan’s son and advocate Prashant Bhushan mentioned the matter before a bench headed by the CJI which had allocated it for hearing before a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri, who is number six in seniority.

When Shanti Bhushan filed the PIL, Prashant Bhushan had written to the secretary general of the apex court stating that the matter should not be listed before a bench that includes the CJI.

The petition names the CJI as one of the respondents along with the registrar of the Supreme Court.

In his PIL, Shanti Bhushan has stated that the “master of roster” cannot be unguided and unbridled discretionary power, exercised arbitrarily by the CJI by hand-picking benches of select judges or by assigning cases to particular judges.

The petition said the CJI’s authority as the master of roster is “not an absolute, arbitrary, singular power that is vested in the chief justice alone and which may be exercised with his sole discretion”.

It said that such an authority should be exercised by the CJI in consultation with the senior judges of the Supreme Court in keeping with the various pronouncements of the court.

The petition assumes significance in light of the January 12 press conference when the judges said the situation in the top court was “not in order” and many “less than desirable” things have taken place.

Chief Justice of India-led orders listing of a case relating to BJP chief’s son

The Supreme Court today directed the listing of a case of a news portal’s scribes, who are facing criminal defamation complaint filed by BJP President Amit Shah’s son, before an appropriate bench for final disposal on April 18.

An supreme court bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra said since it was seized of hearing important cases pending before a constitution bench, there was paucity of time to hear this matter.

It said the petitions, which have challenged the Gujarat High Court’s order refusing to quash summons issued against them by a trial court in a defamation complaint filed by Shah’s son Jay Shah, be listed before an appropriate bench.

“Let the matters be listed before the appropriate bench for final disposal on April 18. The interim order passed on the earlier occasion to continue till the next date of hearing,” the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

On March 15, the CJI-led bench had heard the pleas filed by news portal ‘The Wire’ and some of its scribes against the Gujarat High Court order. It had also asked the Gujarat trial court not to proceed with the complaint till today.

The high court had on January 8 rejected a plea filed by the portal, seeking quashing of the defamation complaint filed against it by Jay over an article related to his company.

On the last date of hearing before the apex court, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing for the portal and the scribes, had said that the article contained details from records which were in “public domain electronically”.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by the CJI and comprising Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, is currently hearing the crucial matter relating to the validity of the Aadhaar Act.

The same bench is also scheduled to hear several other matters, including the one related to its 2013 judgment re-criminalising gay sex between consenting adults and ban on entry of women between 10 and 50 years of age in Kerala’s Sabarimala temple.

Shah had moved the lower court alleging defamation by the petitioners after the article published by the news portal claimed his company’s turnover grew exponentially after the BJP-led government came to power at the Centre in 2014.

The complaint was filed against the author of the article Rohini Singh, founding editors of the news portal Siddharth Varadarajan, Siddharth Bhatia and M K Venu, managing editor Monobina Gupta, public editor Pamela Philipose and the Foundation for Independent Journalism, which publishes The Wire.

Jay has separately filed a civil defamation suit of Rs 100 crore against the website over the article. He has also rejected the charges made in the article, insisting that the story was “false, derogatory and defamatory”.