Case Law Details

Case Name : New Delhi Television Limited Vs RBI (Bombay High Court)
Appeal Number : Writ Petition No. 2026 of 2017
Date of Judgement/Order : 26.06.2018
Related Assessment Year :

New Delhi Television Limited Vs RBI (Bombay High Court)

We will be failing in our duty if we do not note other arguments of Mr. Dwarkadas learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner. He submitted that the statutory position and status of the authorities and high functionaries like the RBI, Enforcement Directorate and the CBI is being undermined and compromised. These institutions, according to him, ought to be allowed to function with full autonomy, independence and impartiality. Their strength lies in such functioning and whenever that is disrupted or disturbed so also interfered with, invariably, the public interest suffers. In their prestige, reputation and dignity lies that of the nation. Mr. Dwarkadas submits that the Hon’ble Supreme Court has emphasised time and again the institutional integrity and that is paramount. If such high functionaries surrender their authority, power and jurisdiction and act as per the dictates of the political bosses, then, the rule of law is a casualty. Mr. Dwarkadas submits that we must not forget and overlook the fact that the petitioner is a company engaged in the business of electronic media. It is running a news channel and is a prominent player on the national television network, particularly in the feld of dissemination of news. If an attempt is made to embarrass and harass it with such proceedings, then, we will have to pay a heavy price as the freedom of press and electronic media will be in jeopardy.

 Though we are not in agreement with Mr. Dwarkadas and the material on record does not lead to this inference leave alone conclusion, it is extremely distressing to note that parties like the petitioner doubt the independence and impartiality of the above institutions. None should entertain this belief or voice it before a court of law for if that is noted in the proceedings, the very credibility and effcacy of such institutions/authorities is than questioned. It is extremely unfortunate that we have to take note of such submissions of the learned senior counsel. We feel that beyond noting these arguments, we should not express any opinion thereon. However, we hope that all concerned understand our pain and anguish. We are concerned in this petition with the actions of the RBI and the Enforcement Directorate, both of whom refer to the criminal proceedings launched by the CBI. Those in-charge of their affairs and those in power giving them directions ought to realise that nothing would be achieved if foundations and base of these institutions is shaken and if they allegedly obey every command of the political masters.The political parties and outfts in power, in opposition ought to know that just as Defence Forces, Police and the Judiciary, it is important that these institutions do not betray public trust and confdence. By its very name, it is the Directorate of Enforcement and it enforces stringent laws like the FEMA and the PMLA. Such institutions are the custodians of our foreign exchange resources, they safeguard and protect them by properly managing and administering them. They ensure that there is balance, much less in payment. If they are looked upon as guardians of citizens’ rights, then, it is time that those in power and opposition realise that they should not act in a manner which gives the public at large an impression that these vital institutions are but puppets in the hands of politicians.

These institutions protect our constitutional framework. Every law, which is made and the authority therefrom is but a product of our constitution and the entries in the felds of legislation (Schedule 7 Lists I, II and III) have given us the CBI, the RBI and the Enforcement Directorate together with an independent and impartial judiciary, free-press. The agencies like RBI etc. are also pillars of our democracy. The earlier we realise that in their meaningful existence lies our safety and of our legal rights the better it would be. We pray that hereinafter we do not have to observe anything like this and everybody will leave out these institutions from unnecessary attacks, uncalled for criticism and do not try to overpower or overreach them.

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