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Karnataka HC Seeks Explanation From Petitioner For Asking Discovery Channel To Not Air Program On 'Cauvery Calling' Project

Mustafa Plumber
11 Sep 2020 2:17 AM GMT
Karnataka HC Seeks Explanation From Petitioner For Asking Discovery Channel  To Not Air Program On Cauvery Calling Project
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The Karnataka High court has sought an explanation from petitioner A V Amarnathan on why he sent an email to Discovery channel threatening it that airing any program on the channel on 'Cauvery calling' will amount to contempt of Court. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi said: "The petitioner claims to be a pro bono litigant. Making such representation to...

The Karnataka High court has sought an explanation from petitioner A V Amarnathan on why he sent an email to Discovery channel threatening it that airing any program on the channel on 'Cauvery calling' will amount to contempt of Court.

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi said:

"The petitioner claims to be a pro bono litigant. Making such representation to a television channel may raise a question whether the petitioner is really a pro bono litigant. The petitioner cannot threaten a television channel with contempt on the ground that if they telecast a program on the respondents, it will amount to contempt."

Amarnathan has filed a petition in the court seeking directions to Isha foundation to not collect funds from the public for the Cauvery Calling project.

On the previous hearing, the court was informed that three notices were sent to the channel by the petitioner. The bench had then directed Amarnathan to clarify on whether he sent the notices to the channel.

On perusing the affidavit filed by Amarnathan the court said:

"In the affidavit dated 5th September 2020 and in paragraph No.7, the petitioner has justified the action of informing the discovery channel that airing the program will amount to contempt. The petitioner appearing in person owes an explanation to the Court for this conduct."

Since, a representative of the petitioner appeared in court as Amarnathan was unwell, the court directed the petitioner to file an affidavit stating whether he wants to justify the threat given to the television channel that telecasting a program on the respondents will amount to contempt of Court, within one week. The court will now hear the matter on September 24.

As per the petition, the Foundation is planning to plant 253 crores tree saplings across the 639 kilometer stretch of Cauvery river bank from its birth place Talacauvery to Thiruvarur. The Foundation is said to be collecting Rs. 42 per tree planting from the public. That means it is collecting a whooping sum of Rs 253 X 42 in total of Rs, 10,626 crores , which according to the petitioner is a major scam.

The plea said : "Foundation claims that it has conducted studies regarding the Cauvery Basin. But it ought to have submitted the said report to the State. And the state after deliberating the said studies should have given an approval. But no such process is carried out. The petitioner submit that no private organization can be permitted to carryout any work, on the Government land, without there being a proper approval from the state."

On January 7, the Court had asked Isha Foundation to disclose the amount it has collected for the 'Cauvery Calling Project

The bench had then said "Do not be under the impression that you are not bound by law because you are a spiritual organization."

Later, Isha Foundation told the Court that the project was being dealt with by Isha Outreach.


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