Karnataka

HC dislodges petitioner in ‘Cauvery Calling’ plea for virtually threatening TV channel

The High Court of Karnataka on Thursday dislodged a petitioner, who had filed a PIL petition questioning the ‘Cauvery Calling’ project, for sending an email to a private television channel virtually threatening contempt of court action if it aired a documentary on the project.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi issued the direction while hearing the petition filed by A.V. Amaranathan, a city-based advocate. The Bench has decided to treat the petition as initiated suo motu by the court by knocking off the petitioner’s name as it has to go into the issues raised in the petition.

ISHA Outreach, which manages the ‘Cauvery Calling’ project spearheaded by ISHA Foundation, had complained to the court that the petitioner, on August 21, sent an email to Discovery Channel warning that telecasting the documentary, scheduled to be aired on August 22 at 6.30 p.m., would amount to contempt of court as the legality of the project was sub judice. Following the petitioner’s email, the channel indefinitely postponed airing the documentary.

The Bench said that the petitioner could not have decided whether the telecast of documentary, titled ‘Cauvery Calling — a race to save a river’, would amount to contempt of court. The petitioner, if he wanted to object to the telecast of the programme, should have adopted “an appropriate remedy instead of virtually threatening the channel”, the Bench observed.

The Bench also noted that though it gave an opportunity to the petitioner to explain his conduct, he had virtually justified his action and not shown any remorse over his conduct.

Stating that the court cannot allow such conduct by a person who files a petition in public interest, the Bench said it cannot allow the petitioner to continue to be associated with the litigation.


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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 1:41:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/hc-dislodges-petitioner-in-cauvery-calling-plea-for-virtually-threatening-tv-channel/article32865995.ece

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