Calcutta HC supports freedom of the Press, refuses action against Press Reports

Calcutta HC supports freedom of the Press, refuses action against Press Reports

The Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court today refused to act against certain press reports which had commented on the investment climate in West Bengal. The Chief Justice reportedly said, “there is freedom of press in our country. I won’t issue any notice to the media.”

State Counsel Pranab Dutta submitted to the Court that the media had misquoted an observation made by the Court in a chit fund case and that action should be taken against such reports. However, the Chief Justice as part of the Division Bench also having Justice Joymalyo Bagchi refused to accept the same and said, “I know what I have said and in what perspective. Several times, I have discussed media issues with judges of the Supreme Court.”

Counsel Pranab Dutta also submitted to the Court that the observations made lowered the dignity of the Court, however the Chief Justice said, “I have made my observation, the press has done their duty. There will be no notice.” She added, “It is not my duty to clarify my words to everyone.”

Reportedly, while hearing a case relating to freezing of MPS Group, a chit fund, in which its lawyers had submitted that they were trying to arrange foreign investment to pay back their depositors, Chief Justice Chellur had said, “who will invest in the state? No one from even Kerala or Karnataka will invest here.” She had reportedly added, “I know that if someone wants to invest in Telengana, he will be escorted from the airport to the chief minister’s office there and provided all assistance to set up industry there.”

The matter has now been fixed for June 30.