Judge closes Press Club’s right to evidence; Final arguments on April 13
New Delhi, March 16 (Delhi Crown): The Press Club of India’s (PCI) lawyer Imran Ali continued to remain absent from the Patiala House court on Wednesday (March 16) too, in a matter related to membership of a senior journalist.
Imran Ali has been avoiding the court for the past four-five hearings. As a result, the lady judge Preeti (she goes by single name) today closed evidence against the senior journalist who had moved the court challenging termination of his membership.
In her order the lady judge said – “Learned Counsel for plaintiff submits that on 17.12.2021 no witness was present on behalf of defendants. Even on last date of hearing, no one has appeared on behalf of defendants. He further submits that right of defendants to lead Defendant’s Evidence should be closed. Perusal of record reveals that matter is pending on the same stage since 19.19.2019 and various opportunities have been given to defendants to lead Defendant’s Evidence.”
She further stated in her order – “It appears that defendants are not inclined to Defendant’s Evidence. Accordingly, the right of defendants to lead Defendant’s Evidence is hereby closed. Put up for final arguments on 13.04.2022. Matter is fixed for cross examination of DW4.”
It may be recalled that during the hearing in the case on December 17, when PCI’s lawyer Imran Ali failed to appear despite notice, lady judge Preeti had imposed a cost of Rs 2000 on him.
Infuriated at this, on the following date the Press Club of India’s lawyer Imran Ali misbehaved with same lady judge. Despite repeated warnings from the lady judge to him to maintain decorum of the court, Imran Ali went on and on, shouting at the lady judge.
Eventually the lady judge had to shout back at him saying “Shut Up”.
Subsequent to that episode, Press Club of India’s lawyer Imran Ali has shied away from appearing in the court.
Termination of senior journalists by the Press Club of India’s elected management is nothing new. Recently, the Managing Committee (which is formed through elections among the journalists) terminated the membership of a very senior journalist who had retired a couple of months ago from The Hindu newspaper, just because he had been working on exposing the acts of corruption by the office bearers of the Managing Committee.