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Is justice be best served behind closed doors

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NEW DELHI, APRIL 26. Observing that prima facie it appeared that Ms.
Trehan, Editor-in-Chief of Wah India fortnightly magazine published from
Capital, and four others had committed contempt of court, a Division
Bench of
the Delhi High Court today issued notices to them for carrying on
contemptuous report against the High Court Judges.

The Bench issued the notices on a criminal contempt petition by the Bar
Council of India through its secretary, Mr. Surya Prakash Khatri.

The petitioner alleged that the magazine in its April 16 issue carried a

write-up with photographs of the judges reflecting on their integrity,
quality of judgment, depth of basic knowledge, observance of
manners in court and receptiveness to arguments which amounted to
contempt of

The Bench, comprising Mr. Justice Anil Dev Singh and Mr. Justice O.P.
Dwivedi, asked the Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police (Crime) to seize
confiscate copies of the April 16 issue of the magazine from shops,
news-stands or any other place where the issue was being sold.

It also asked the respondents to withdraw from circulation copies of the

issue. It further directed that no one shall publish an article similar
to it
or any article, news, letter or any material which tended to lower the
authority, dignity and prestige of the members of the judiciary.

Except for this order, the Bench also put a bar on reporting of the
proceedings of the case in the media, including contents of the article,
any manner.

Issuing the notices, the Bench asked the respondents to show why they
not be punished for contempt of court.

The Bench asked them to be present in person before the court on May 2.
also issued notice to the Attorney-General and directed the Registry to
papers of the case before the Chief Justice for constituting a larger
to hear the matter.

Copies seized

The Crime Branch of the Delhi police today descended on the Okhla Phase
office of Wah India! and confiscated 1,020 copies of its April 16 issue.

The sleuths raided the double-storey office of the magazine in South
industrial area and searched the entire premises, including the godown.
the hour-long search, they confiscated all copies of the ninth issue of
magazine lying on the premises. It was from the godown that most of the
copies were seized.

During the peaceful operation, the sleuths searched all the office rooms
as the magazine's staff chose to continue with their work normally.
the office, too, there was not much activity as there were few tell-tale

signs of the raid inside.

The Crime Branch will now search for the circulated copies, believed to
be in
thousands, through the magazine's distributors.

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