New Delhi: The Supreme Court today allowed a journalist to be made a party in a plea seeking court-monitored probe into the Essar email-leak case allegedly pointing to a “political-bureaucratic-corporate nexus”. The took this decision while giving six weeks time to the Centre and CBI to file their response to the PIL filed by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL).
The bench comprising Justices T S Thakur and Kurian Joseph took strong note of the contention of Centre’s counsel that it needed at least eight weeks time as the allegations pertained to various ministries and it will have to collect information from all of them before filing in the court.
“Every secretary cannot be made party. You are the Centre and you will have to collate the information,” it said and ordered listing of the PIL on March 11. The bench allowed the plea of television journalist who was represented by senior advocate Salman Khurshid as he contended that the alleged expose led to the loss of her job and reputation.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, did not object to her being allowed to intervene but resisted her being impleaded as one of the respondents. He said that in cases where many names surface all of them cannot be allowed to become a party.
“People, who are likely to be affected, ought to be given a hearing. We cannot deny it. She is saying that she has already lost the job and wants to clear her name. Can we deny the hearing?,” the bench said.
“If anybody’s reputation is affected the least we can do is give them a hearing before we pass an order. They should not feel that they were kept out of it before the court took a decision”, it said.
Bhushan said that the names have figured in the internal e-mails and he is only seeking a probe. “Internal e-mails are no more internal and now have become public,” the bench said.