New Delhi : The Respondent No.02, Mantoo Sharma, in his counter-affidavit to the Supreme Court of India in the Special Leave Petition (Criminal) No. 1603/2013, has told the court that the principal accused in the Munger Kotwali P.S Case No.445/2011, Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson of M/S The Hindustan Times Limited, New Delhi, is a daredevil economic offender in the media world. In the support of his assertion, Mr.Sharma has annexed the enquiry-report of the Munger District Magistrate, Mr.Kuldeep Narayan that was sent to the Patna High Court.
He has told the Supreme Court that the daredevil act of economic offence of such a big corporate media house of India has been proved and it has stunned everyone in law that the company bas been still illegally publishing the Munger edition of Dainik Hindustan without "the Certificate of Registration" and "The registration Number" under the P.R.B Act even after the lodging of this F.I.R with Munger Kotwali police station about one year and eight months earlier.
I here quote the true assertion of Mr.Mantoo Sharma that has been placed before the Supreme Court of India.
DAREDEVIL ACT OF ECONOMIC OFFENCE OF OWNER/ PUBLISHER OF DAINIK HINDUSTAN IN
CASE OF MUNGER EDITION/ PUBLICATION
"The owners/publishers continued printing ''Registration No..- Applied For'' in the Bhagalpur and
Munger publications/editions of Dainik Hindustan from July 01,2011 to April 16, 2012.And from April 17,2012,the company began printing new and separate "Registration No.BIHHIN/2011/41407" in the Bhagalpur and Munger publications /editions.But, the owner/publisher didn't comply the rules of the PRB Act in the case of the Munger publication/edition till filing of this counter-affidavit in this Hon’ble Court. In support of this statement, the enquiry-report of the Munger Collector that was sent to the Hon'ble High Court of Patna in Bihar in connection with this case is mentioned here for perusal.
D.M’S REPORT TO HON’BLE HIGH COURT EXPOSES UNAUTHORISED PUBLICATION AND CIRCULATION OF MUNGER EDITION OF DAINIK HINDUSTAN IN MUNGER
The Munger Collector,vide office letter No.1448/legal,dated 27/09/12,to the Honourable High Court,Patna ,in response to a direction of the Patna court in the Cr.Misc.No. 2951/2012(Shobhana Bharatiya Vs State of Bihar & others),has clearly stated –
"……….Today monring,Hindustan newspaper had been obtained from Munger town(Munger edition) and nearby Lakhisarai town(East Bihar edition).Both the newspapers indicate same editor,same publisher and
printer,same local editor,same phone number and same R.N.I .No. The RNI No. is also same as what can be seen on Bhagalpur edition .This way, it appears that on same registration, same R.N.I No., different content is being published ,printed and circulated in different districts. Since the content is
different,so they should be treated as different newspapers ,and should have different R.N.I's No. Here RNI No.is same.This way it has been found that in Bhagalpur,Munger and Lakhisarai, different newspaper contents are being circulated bearing same registration details…..It is evident that not only news content is different ,but also some govt. advertisement is published in one newspaper ,and not in the others.For example, on page No.06 of newspaper ,circulated in Lakhisarai (East Bihar edition), advertisements of Planning Dept.bearing Advertisement No. PR-7332(planning)/12-13 has beenpublished,but not in Munger edition, circulated in Munger town." Thus, the daredevil act of economic offence of such a big corporate media house of India has been proved and it has stunned everyone in law that the company hasbeen still illegally publishing the Munger edition of Dainik Hindustan without ''the Certificate of Registration'' and "the Registration Number'' under the P.R.B Act even after the lodging of this F.I.R with Munger Kotwali police station about one year and 8 months earlier.Thus,the Munger edition of Dainik Hindustan has been still illegally obtaining and publishing the advertisements of the Union and the Bihar governments in bulk .This action of the company proves its daredevil act of economic offence .
The chief economic offenders are the chairperson, the chief editors and the publisher/owner respectively of such a powerful newspaper industry of India."
Named accused persons in the Munger Kotwali P.S Case No.445/2011(Bihar): In the Munger Kotwali P.S Case No.445/2011 in Bihar, the Chairperson of M/S Hindustan Media Ventures Limited (New Delhi)Shobhana Bhartia, the Chief Editor,Dainik Hindustan, Shashi Shekhar(New Delhi), the Regional Editor,Dainik Hindustan,Patna edition, Akku Srivastawa, the Regional Editor, Dainik Hindustan,Bhagalpur edition,Binod Bandhu and the Publisher, ,M/S Hindustan Media Ventures Limited( Nw Delhi), Amit Chopra, have been accused of receiving the government money to the tune of about rupees two hundred crores illegally and fraudulently by obtaining and printing the advertisements of the Union and Bihar governments in the name of illegally printed and published Munger and Bhagalpur editions of Dainik Hindustan for a decade continuously in Bihar.
The Munger police ,meanwhile, have submitted the Supervision Report No.01 and the Supervision Report No.-02 and have found all allegations "prima-facie true" against all the named accused persons including the principal accused Shobhana Bhartia (New Delhi) under sections 8(b)/14/15 of the Press & Registration of Books Act, 1867 and sections 420/471/476 of the Indian Penal Code. The historical order of the Patna High Court : The Hon’ble Justice of the Patna High Court, Justice Anjana Prakash, in her order, dated Dec 17,2012, in the Criminal Miscellaneous No. 2951 of 2012, refused to interfere in the police investigation and directed the Munger (Bihar) police to complete the investigation in the Kotwali P.S Case No. 445/ 2011 within the three months from the date of the order.