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Express & Pioneer to carry front page apologies to SC for court reporting

Stop press, hold the frontpageStop press, hold the frontpage Exclusive: The Indian Express and Pioneer newspapers will carry front-page apologies for misreporting court proceedings, after yesterday’s hearing in the Supreme Court’s (SC) suo motu contempt petition against the two papers.

Anil Srivastava, the advocate-on-record for the Express correspondent Utkarsh Anand and publisher RC Malhotra, said: “Before 4 December [the date fixed for the next hearing], an apology would be published on the front page because the article was also on the front page. Nothing of this is part of the order, this is just what has been understood, so we will work towards it.”

The SC had served the two newspapers with contempt notices on 20 September, after they had carried reports the previous day that claimed an SC bench of GS Singhvi and SJ Mukhopadhyay was “surprised” by and critical of the chief justice’s appointment of sitting SC judge Swatanter Kumar to the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati and senior advocate PP Rao were amicus curiae in the matter heard before Singhvi and Mukhopadhyay.

On 30 October senior advocate Fali Nariman for Anand and Express, and senior advocate Soli Sorabjee for Pioneer, submitted that unconditional apologies by the newspapers and the correspondents were being tendered in affidavits.

Forcing newspapers to publish apologies as prominently as an originally incorrect story has been proposed before The Leveson Inquiry in the UK, which is in the process of finalising its investigation into media regulation in the wake of the UK’s phone hacking scandals.

Photo by Greg Haberman

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