NEW DELHI (TIP): The Delhi High Court restrained the media from publishing and telecasting the sexual harassment allegations levelled against National Green Tribunal (NGT) Chairman Swatanter Kumar by a woman lawyer. The alleged harassment took place in May 2011 while she was an intern with Justice Kumar, who was a judge of the Supreme Court at that time.
Justice Manmohan Singh also directed the media to delete the defamatory parts of the news items and the photographs of Justice Kumar within 24 hours and stay away from carrying his photographs till further orders. The court passed the order on a petition filed by Justice Kumar seeking a gag order against the media and claiming damages from two news channels and an English daily for defaming him on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations by the ex-intern.
The court issued notice to the complainant and the media organisations on Justice Kumar’s petition asking them to file their response. Posting the next hearing for February 24, the HC said its order would remain in force till then. The ex-judge of the SC has sought at least Rs 5 crore each as damages from the woman lawyer and the three media groups for attempting to sully his image and reputation built over an illustrious career spanning 43 years as a lawyer and a judge of high courts and the Supreme Court. The media had no business to undermine his fundamental right to good name and reputation, his counsel Mukul Rohatgi had contended yesterday.