The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Thursday issued notice to a television news channel -- directing it to produce all documents related to the matter of the Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust run by Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid -- on the basis of which a Public Interest Litigation was filed.
The order was issued by the division bench comprising Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice Satish Chandra during hearing on the maintainability of the PIL filed by RTI activist Nutan Thakur.
The PIL was filed on Monday in the registry of the Lucknow bench -- seeking direction for lodging of an FIR and also monitoring by the court -- in the case of the trust run by Law Minister Khurshid and his wife Louise.
The petitioner in her PIL urged the court to direct principal secretary, home, Uttar Pradesh government and the Economic Offences Wing to immediately lodge an FIR on the basis of primary investigation report conducted by the viklang kalyan (welfare of handicapped) department and social welfare department.
It was also prayed that the court kindly monitor the investigation on its end.
Six parties -- including state government through principal secretary home, EOW, central government through ministry of social justice, principal secretary of social welfare, UP, Aaj Tak through editor of India Today group and Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust -- were arrayed as the respondents in the PIL.
Appearing on behalf of the Union government, senior counsel Vivek Tankha alleged that it was a proxy PIL, filed in a casual manner to malign a person.
Raising preliminary objection, the counsel submitted that the PIL was based on the media reports without inquiring detailed facts.
On behalf of the state government, Additional Advocate General Bulbul Godiyal also raised similar preliminary objections regarding the maintainability of the PIL.
She also submitted before the court that an EOW inquiry was being conducted under the direction of the UP chief minister.
On behalf of the petitioner, counsel Ashok Pandey submitted that the state government was investigating the matter without lodging an FIR.
He submitted that there were allegations that there was something wrong in the matter of the trust, so it should be probed after lodging a proper FIR.
Pandey alleged that signatures were forged and the CAG, in its report, has said that fraud has been done.
The bench directed news channel Aaj Tak to produce all documents related to the matter and fixed October 30 as the next date of hearing.