Delhi HC directs SC registry to supply documents to police in the Anil Ambani-Ericsson order tampering case

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The Delhi High Court has directed the Supreme Court registry to supply the Delhi Police the required documents for the ongoing investigation with regard to Ambani-Ericsson order tampering case.

Brief facts:

The Supreme Court on 7th January, 2019 had passed an order directing Mr.Anil Ambani to be present before the court in the next hearing. However the order was displayed in the website as “Personal appearance of the alleged Contemnor(s) is dispensed with”. The error in the order was noticed by the opposite party Ericsson’s counsel and the same was reported to the court. After the preliminary enquiry it was found that the omission of the word ‘not’ was intentional and hence the Chief Justice of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi dismissed two officials in the Supreme Court registry namely Tapan Kumar Chakraborthy and Manav Sharma.

FIR was registered against two officials under section 420, 466, 467, 468, 218, 219, 471 and 120-B of Indian Penal Code read with section 66 of IT Act. The officials were arrested in connection with the above charges on April 2019 and were later released on bail on May, 2019. Tapan Kumar Chakraborthy has filed a petition before the Delhi High Court seeking to quash the FIR registered against him. The   petition contended that he cannot be held liable for the error in the court proceedings. He further contended that the order was verified not only by the concerned judge but also by the various levels of registrars of the court. Later notice was issued to the Delhi police to file its response with regard to the report the status of the case.

On 25th February, 2020 when the case was listed the counsel for the Delhi Police informed the court that the Supreme Court registry has not supplied them with enough materials with regard to the case and requested the court to issue a direction with regard to the supply of documents.

Key features:

1. Anil Ambani was facing contempt charges for not complying with the order passed by the Supreme Court to pay the dues owing towards Ericsson.

2. On 7th January, 2020, an order was passed by the Supreme Court requiring Anil Ambani to make his presence before the court.

3. However the order was uploaded wrongly in the Supreme Court’s website dispensing his presence.

4. When the omission of the word “not” was found to be intentional, two officials in the Supreme Court registry were fired and criminal proceedings were initiated against them under various sections of IPC and IT Act.

5. One among the officials Tapan Kumar Chakraborthy approached the Delhi High Court with a plea to quash the FIR filed against him.

Since the advocate representing the Delhi Police has stated before the court that the supreme court registry has not supplied them with adequate documents required for the ongoing investigation, Single Bench Judge, Justice Suresh Kumar Kait has directed the Supreme court registry to supply Delhi police the required documents within one week from the date of receipt of this order. The matter will be further heard on 13th March, 2020.

Edited by J. Madonna Jephi

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

Lavanya Narayanan
I am Lavanya Narayanan, pursuing a master's in international law. With three years into the profession, I am currently reviving my long-forgotten passion for writing. As and when I find a time I watch debates and interviews on the current affairs of our nation. My areas of interest are criminal law, women and child rights especially toddlers. I love listening to puranic stories. I believe accepting things you don’t know as you don’t know leads you to the path of growth. Happy reading!