The channel had claimed it had documents to prove the Trust forged signatures

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Thursday issued notice to television channel Aaj Tak directing it to produce documents relating to the alleged misappropriation of funds by the Dr. Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, run by Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid and his wife Louise.

A Division Bench, comprising Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice Satish Chandra, ordered the directive on a public interest litigation filed by Uttar Pradesh-based social activist Nutan Thakur.

Dr. Thakur had sought the Court's directive to file an FIR in the case, while also requesting the court to monitor the investigations of the case by the Economic Offences Wing of Uttar Pradesh Police. Senior counsel Vivek Tankha, on behalf of the Central government, raised preliminary objections to the PIL and submitted that it was based on media reports without enquiring into the facts, and was filed to malign and scandalise a person.

The television channel had claimed that it had documents to prove that the Trust had forged signatures and that the camps for the disabled existed only on paper.

Additional Advocate General Bulbul Godiyal also raised preliminary objections regarding the maintainability of the PIL on behalf of the State government. She submitted that an enquiry by the EOW was being conducted under the direction of the Chief Minister.

Dr. Thakur's counsel Ashok Pandey submitted before the court that the State government was investigating the matter without lodging an FIR.

Dr. Thakur had told The Hindu on Monday that an FIR had not been lodged even after primary investigations of the Viklang Kalyan Department and Social Welfare Departments. Why was no FIR lodged till now even when a probe was ordered in June, Dr. Thakur had asked. The next hearing is scheduled for October 30.