HC issues contempt notice to cricket fans

NEW DELHI, JULY 12. The Delhi High Court today issued contempt notices to two cricket fans who had sought investigation into the affairs of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), saying they had committed an act of contempt by going to media before the case was heard.

Taking strong exception to the reporting of the entire petition by some newspapers before it was heard, a division bench comprising the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Arijit Passayat, said ``we feel that an act of contempt has been committed by them by going to media''.

Issuing show cause notices to Rahul Mehra and Shantanu Sharma, who had sought a probe into the alleged mismanagement of the game by the BCCI and its member associations, the court said ``we will not like you to go to the press before the matter is argued in the court.'' They were asked to file replies by August 17, the next date of hearing.

Senior advocate, Mr. K. K. Venugopal, appearing for BCCI said the entire text of the writ petition was published in many newspapers even before the matter was heard. Mehra and Sharma, in a website opened by them had launched a campaign against the BCCI and the material fed on it clearly said the board needed to be prosecuted in court as well as in the media.

``We will not allow any publicity of this kind, otherwise we will throw the petition out,'' the court said coming down heavily on the petitioners.