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Alleged Sex, Alleged Lies, Alleged Video CDsAlleged Sex, Alleged Lies, Alleged Video CDsThe Delhi High Court has ex parte ordered three media houses against publishing a digital video allegedly depicting “sexual acts” of senior advocate and Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, which the politician alleges is fake and an attempt by his former driver at extortion.

Mukesh Kumar Lal was restrained by Justice Reva Khetrapal on 13 April from “publishing, broadcasting, disseminating or distributing in any form or manner the contents of any alleged CD or any other material as described in the plaint in relation to the plaintiff No. 2” – Singhvi - reported the Indian Express.

The first plaintiff, whose name is the only petitioner listed on the Delhi high court’s causelist, is lawyer Abhimanyu Bhandari, who is a founding partner of Axon Partners with Singhvi and Singhvi’s son.

The order was passed ex parte against Aaj Tak, Headlines Today and The India Today Group but it was not available at the time of going to press.

Singhvi is represented by advocate Sangeeta Sharma.

According to the Express, the court found that the “...plaintiffs have made out a prima facie case for grant of an ex-parte ad interim injunction in their favour. The balance of convenience is also tilted in favour of the plaintiffs and against the defendants” and that “irreparable injury is likely to be caused to the reputation and goodwill of plaintiff 2 (Abhishek Manu Singhvi) in case the defendants are not restrained from disseminating the information allegedly in their possession in the form of CD.”

“Publicity to the content of such a CD would only be for sensational and salacious purpose and would amount to a gross and irreparable violation of an individual’s privacy and would be per se defamatory,” Singhvi had submitted to the court according to Firstpost.

IANS reported that after Singhvi had filed a police complaint on 23 March, and on 24 March Singhvi received “calls from several senior political leaders about the possession of the CD with journalists”, IANS summarised the petition:

According to Singhvi's petition, the SMSes referred to a CD, which Lal said that he would distribute to all media houses, severely embarrassing and defaming the name and reputation of Singhvi.

The petition further stated: “Lal said that he needs a very large amount of money or else he will start spreading false rumours and allegations against Singhvi, including false statement regarding his moral character and will go to the media and distribute a CD which allegedly depicts alleged sexual acts made allegedly by Abishek Manu Singhvi and will not hesitate from making other false claim.” […]

Singhvi claimed that such a CD either does not exist or if it does, it is clearly and obviously morphed, fabricated and forged.

The Delhi high court case is Abhimanyu Bhandari & anr vs. Mukesh Kumar Lal & Ors (CS(OS) 978/2012). The next hearing is due on 21 May 2012 in Court number 24.

On Twitter this morning the phrase “Abhishek Manu Singhvi” was “trending” in India – the term used to describe topics that are especially popular on the microblogging service.

Legally India blogger @courtwitness1 tweeted: “There seems to be pretty much only one topic of conversation in the #supremecourtofindia today. […]”

@sumit_nagpal added: “I have got calls from so many Senior Advocates in last two days! Everyone with the same question.. ''Do u have Singhvi CD?''”

@churumuri tweeted: “One CD, two clips, 9 minutes and 12 minutes long, 74 MB and 314 MB, say those who have watched it. Killer line […]”

@amishra77 asks in response: “The HC has only barred media houses from telecasting the CD. Not individual bloggers from hosting it at their site. Right?”

According to several Tweets, the video shows what purports to be Singhvi and a senior female lawyer.

Photo by Lawrence Leonard Gilbert

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1
 
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Recommend! +3 Objection! -0 Delhi Lawyer 2012-04-17 11:17
I don't know whether it will be erotic ... but still junior lawyers will flock to the see the clip out of curiosity !
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Recommend! +3 Objection! -0 Curious 2012-04-17 11:25
I believe Legally India was not a Defendant to the proceedings. So LI should be able to provide the video.
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3
 
Recommend! +6 Objection! -0 Jazz 2012-04-17 12:23  interesting
Me no understand why Bhandari is first plaintiff? What is his role in this case?
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3.1
 
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 kianganz 2012-04-17 16:33
My understanding, which is partly speculation without having seen the actual petition, is that Mr Bhandari was the first petitioner to keep Mr Manu Singhvi's name off the cause lists.

I think fortunately super injunctions do not exist in India unlike in the UK (where courts have granted injunctions to celebrities preventing even the publication of the petitioner's name), so this may be the nearest equivalent?

Maybe some litigators could share their view.

Best regards
Kian
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3.1.1
 
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Jazz 2012-04-20 19:53
You know Kian, I'm now suspecting that even the driver was made defendant No. 1 for exactly the same reasons given by you. Obviously they didn't want India Today to pop up in the cause-list. The entire story of the driver doing it seemed plausible until they came up with the dog biting his wife excuse. That is bloody ridiculous. I'm thinking there is something black in the pulses.
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Recommend! +2 Objection! -0 Censoring now? 2012-04-17 13:46
Deleting the earlier comment Kian? Whats the explanation for censoring now? Evidently, your free speech argument falls flat! When lesser mortals are involved you encourage all sorts of vapid and personal attacks. Disappointing.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Prachishrivastava 2012-04-17 14:21
Dear #5

Thank you for your comment.

The earlier comment had to be censored because it bordered on being defamatory and potentially contemptuous on account of the inappropriateness it contained.

Regards,
Prachi
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4.1.1
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Capitulating? 2012-04-17 14:30
Many of the comments on LI are "defamatory" certainly "potentially contemptuous" and "extremely inappropriate". When people point it out, LI launches into a silly "Kapil Sibal" censorship argument. At the least, LI censors it by a silly "[...]". You deleted the entire comment - which comment was certainly totally inappropriate. The point is - you do not do it when other inappropriate comments are against other lessor people from lowly law firms or law schools. Totally hypocritical.

LI is like that school bully who picks up on the nerdy guys but wouldnt dare to offend the big boys. Nothing but total capitulation. Really disappointing.
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4.1.2
 
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 wondered 2012-04-17 16:30
Dear Prachi,

Your justification that the comment was removed because of the "inappropriateness it contained", is hardly a reasonable justification. Anything may be inappropriate for someone or the other. Why was is inappropriate, and by which independent standard? If you're restricting free speech, the least you can do is provide a detailed explanation.

I have defended LI in the past for its pro-free speech stance, but I must say that there is an element of truth to the allegation that LI is overly trigger-happy with censorship when it comes to biggies such as AMS.

Jo dar gaya, so mar gaya. Remember.

S.
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4.2
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 kianganz 2012-04-17 16:27
@5.1 thread

Thanks for your comments.

There is a difference between a personal attack or something merely inappropriate and the unfortunately very long arm of India's contempt of court laws.

The case is sub-judice and some of the facts are in dispute. While there is a lot of speculation at the moment, it was inappropriate and legally risky to continue publishing this specific comment.

We follow the same policy in all other cases too and try to adhere to this as much as possible.

Please use the comment "reporting" function if you think any reader comments are illegal, even if you may disagree with the law.

Best regards
Kian
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4.2.3
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Pls answer 2012-04-17 17:05
Alright - then why did you post the message in the first place? And then remove it?

Also Kian was it the "inappropriateness" or the "legally risky" bit that got you to remove the comment? Because "inappropriateness" can certainly not be the justification. Most of the comments on LI are totally inappropriate. I think LI just got scared. At the least, please stand up and say rather than hiding behind these totally unconvincing excuses.
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 kianganz 2012-04-17 17:15
Please read my comment - further to advice, the comment was inappropriate AND legally risky BECAUSE the case is sub judice.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 advocatedelhi 2012-04-17 15:01
Well, whatever the facts and issues in this case, its high time a media shall understand the velocity of a situation and its outcome. Whether he was a part or not, but no one has a legal right to start spreading these kind of news....obviously, it will be against law..
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Recommend! +2 Objection! -0 Annn 2012-04-17 15:09
@5 - unfortunately , Mr Singhvi did not behave responsibly at the time time of porn watching episode . He should have restrained himself , what he is asking today .The other legal aspect that needs to be considered (i) if he is not the man in the CD what is point of his objection (ii) the lady in question has not objected to the alleged CD and quite rightly so . As a matter of fact , Mr singhvi has spread the new faster that anyone , the reason best known to him .
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 In House Counsel 2012-04-18 12:05
Quoting Annn:
@5 - unfortunately , Mr Singhvi did not behave responsibly at the time time of porn watching episode . He should have restrained himself , what he is asking today .The other legal aspect that needs to be considered (i) if he is not the man in the CD what is point of his objection (ii) the lady in question has not objected to the alleged CD and quite rightly so . As a matter of fact , Mr singhvi has spread the new faster that anyone , the reason best known to him .


Very valid point - he's basically shot himself in the foot (if it is unwittingly, which is open to question) by admitting that there is a fishy CD. If its fake, he wouldn't have been so troubled by it.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous Coward 2012-04-17 16:25
Of course, the senior female lawyer is not Abhimanyu Bhandari, that is a male name, for god's sake. Not sure why he (not she!) is 2nd plaintiff though (answering previous query). They are Axon partners.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous 2012-04-20 20:39
Quoting Anonymous Coward:
Of course, the senior female lawyer is not Abhimanyu Bhandari, that is a male name, for god's sake. Not sure why he (not she!) is 2nd plaintiff though (answering previous query). They are Axon partners.


The lady in question is a senior lady lawyer who was about to become a judge. See - www.indianexpress.com/news/cji-sends-back-5-names-cleared-by-delhi-hc-c/627667/
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 BJP supporter 2012-04-17 16:38
Judiciary banned ND Tiwari tape and now this. Why?
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Annn 2012-04-17 16:49
@ 7 , you are behaving as if you are the victim . By no stretch of imagination" Abhimanyu" can be a female.It was only pointed that the lady lawyer has not approached the court and rightly so on facts and merits, as it stated to be . I am sorry , if you are really passing through some mental trauma because of this allegedly morphed CD and I have full sympathy for you . I assured you that you will surely get the best of legal remedy in our justice system.
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Annn 2012-04-17 17:06
@ BJP supporter, the CD of ND Tiwari was only visuals of massage . Still , it was restricted by the Hon'ble Court . This CD has many more , if the facts presented before the court / print media taken in to account.
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10.1
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 rick 2012-04-19 15:01
is it you abhimanyu(bhandari)?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 AMS 2012-04-17 19:16
Any idea on who is the "senior female lawyer" in question?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Sam 2012-04-17 19:58
Kian - do you have more details about the Petition, the Delhi High Court order and the contents of the CD? I presume most or all of these should be accessible to someone who tries.

It appears to me that the injunction is restricted to the driver and the specified media houses who were the named defendants. Singhvi did not ask for a John Doe order (i.e. against all unknown defendants). This now means that only the named defendants are restrained from distributing the CD; all others (including LI) are not restrained at all as they are not being defendants.

It also appears that Singhvi did not ask for a super-injunction. Although I do not know of any Indian court which has allowed this (as opposed to the UK where this is common) at least he could have tried to get a super-injunction. This now means that the defendants are restrained only from distributing the CD but are still allowed to freely report about the incident.

Having not seen the plaint and/or the order I cannot be certain; but if the position is as is made out to be, it comes across as slightly surprising especially given the reputation of the parties involved. I do not know whether the contents of the CD are true; but it seems to me that Singhvi and his lawyers could surely have handled this better. Do you have any thoughts on this?
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12.1
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 rick 2012-04-19 15:02
is abhishek manu singhvi a CELEBRITY? he is a self propogating son of his father.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous Guest 2012-04-17 21:00
The CD could be genuine or morphed. If proven genuine then I think it puts even consenting parties at risk because Adultery is a crime in Indian law. Can someone amplify on this angle please ? Not sure if the CD has been submitted for analysis. Would it necessarily have to be a faked/morphed one for injunctions to be granted ? Curious how this works.
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 arthur 2012-04-17 21:37
so, a look-alike of abhishek manu singhvi was in a compromising posture in the video
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15
 
Recommend! +5 Objection! -0 Knowledge @ ghantaghar 2012-04-17 23:12  interesting
Section 497 od IPC defines "Adultery"


"Whoever" has "sexual intercourse" with "a person" who "is and whom he knows or has reason to believe" to "be the wife of another man", "without the consent or connivance of that man", such sexual intercourse "not" amounting to the offence of "rape", is "guilty of the offence of adultery", and shall be "punished" with "imprisonment" of "either" description for a term which may extend to "five years", or "with fine", or "with both". In such case the "wife shall not be punishable as an abettor".


So here can be no case of the Adultery ( read the Important words in invertible commas)as LI doesn't allow BOLD UNDERLINE HIGHLIGHT ITALICS etc.

Adultery case has to be filled by the Husband of the wife with whom Sexual encounter ( read Intercourse is the word that IPC says )and i need to elaborate on the definition of the intercourse and the penetration as explained in the various cases by the Hon'ble SC of India. Mr. Singhvi would need to elaborate in the court, so that is left for him to research ;)

Now coming to the case before Delhi HC, after going through the petition filled and reading ( plz see it goes in my words and interpretation of the document, may differ from person to person) Hon'ble court has only restrained the 3 Media houses ( in fact they are altogether same 1 identity)
1) LI and other bloggers can publish the same,
2) People can watch it ( in the closed walls, as the law doesn't permit watching it in open)
3) Can redistribute, if your friends are not going to open their mouth about the source ir you ;)
4) haven't watched the clip, but it forms the porn act( aaaiiyyooo mastiii wala, like the savita babhi content which was banned by the IT Depart of Indian govt.) then you can't pass it on to other's. IT ACT BANS IT. watch it alone and enjy & then gossip about it.
5) However using the proxy servers can watch and share ( Beware if you are in Bengal then take permission of the DIDI or be ready to face the consquence)

In short petition was either ill/half heartily/purportedly drafted in a manner such that matter either get's publicized( may be Mr. singhvi want's to run for Lok sabha Election' 14)or matter gets leaked and prove that im still man ( by this mean King/badshaah/lord/ of the jungle/court)

Sorry, please bear it as, this may be because of the work experience of mine ( worked as reporter cum editor cum director cum blogger cum bluffmaster at the FAKINGNEWS DOT COM)

in short Kuch nahin hai sahab, free ka timepass otherwise why no JOHN DE order (IPR thode hi hai pajji) or fighting with barkha datt ji re.

something fishy, Kian dont edit, because after going through the above comments i feel u would do the same here also. So dont bring the provision of the Emergency. ;)
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16
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Annn 2012-04-18 13:47
@ 15 , Section 497 od IPC "Adultery" shall not be applicable if the " lady" is not " wife of another man" . There is noting to disagree on pure point of law that stands today
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17
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Bunty 2012-04-18 15:45
@Ghantaghar

I'm slightly confused. Why does this not constitute the crime of adultery? Is the lady in question not the wife of another man? Or is it that there was no intercourse?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Bubbly 2012-04-19 21:45
Kian - why the silence?
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19
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Annn 2012-04-20 13:31
This is silence after sex
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20
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Annn 2012-04-20 14:45
Kian has nothing to add . This has already been loaded into Facebook
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21
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 kianganz 2012-04-20 17:03
The HC order is now uploaded:

delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=75858&yr=2012

It appears that the injunction only covers the defendant magazines and their agents, but not others.

In any case, the video is now widely available on Youtube or over Bittorrent tracking sites, for anyone who's interested.

(though, really, we promise, it's neither very interesting nor worth your time:
www.legallyindia.com/201204172751/Legal-opinions/everyones-seen-the-alleged-sex-tape-should-you )
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Ghantaghar 2012-04-22 16:16
I had replies to the answer of the Bubly #17 and other serious players who were intrested to know the answer, you didn't published . is it becuase it might fall into the category which might AMS might have committed or it was to offensive( different types of sex being described
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Annn 2012-04-20 17:43
Kian , you have grown old . There are many young lawyer will find it exciting
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 shyam 2012-04-25 16:10
Should appreciate that like any other citizen mr. singhvi too has fundamental right which shuld not be encroached uon by the sources, whoever it may be.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anusuya Salwan 2012-04-25 19:00
The cat's out of the bag.
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25
 
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anusuya Pahalwan 2012-04-26 18:23
So is the dog! :)
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