New Delhi : Statements in a blog are personal opinion, which cannot be treated as evidence, the Delhi High Court said on Tuesday and dismissed a plea for a CBI probe into allegation by Justice (Rtd) Markandey Katju, who had blogged that a former CJI had made “improper compromises” to favour a High Court judge despite the adverse IB report against the latter.
Refusing to intervene in the controversy, a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said a CBI probe cannot be directed merely on the basis of the statements made on a blog and dismissed a PIL seeking probe into the statements made by Katju, ex-Supreme Court judge and Press Council of India Chairman.
“We are unable to understand as to how the matter involves public interest to direct an investigation by CBI at this stage, that too on the basis of the statements made on a blog,” it said.
“It is also relevant to note that blog is nothing but a personal website that allows the users to reflect, share opinions and discuss various topics in the form of an online journal and sometimes letting the readers comment on their posts,” it said, adding “the statements in a blog are only the personal opinion of the user and cannot take the place of evidence.”
The court further said that the issue pertaining to the extension given to the Madras High Court judge had already been dealt with by the Supreme Court and there was no need to go into the issue again and also pointed out that the judge had retired in 2009 and was now no more.
The High Court referred to an earlier apex court order, which had held that that even newspaper reports are held to be only hearsay evidence and “the same analogy applies to the statements in a blog.” Katju had alleged that a former CJI had made “improper compromises” and “succumbed to political pressure” in allowing the Tamil Nadu judge to continue despite an “adverse” Intelligence Bureau (IB) report on allegations of corruption against him.