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Electoral Bonds Case: CJI, Judges Walk Away Midway Through Supreme Court Hearing? No, Viral Video Misleadingly Clipped

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
CJI DY Chandrachud walks away when the solicitor-general was presenting his arguments during the SC bench’s hearing on the electoral bonds case.

Fact
Video is misleadingly cropped, the CJI was just adjusting his chair.

A video has recently gone viral with the claim that the chief justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, followed by the other judges, purportedly walked away during the middle of the Supreme Court’s (SC) hearing on the electoral bonds case, when the solicitor-general was presenting his arguments.

“SG is presenting his arguments before him and without adjourning, he and other judges simply walked away. This is gross humiliation and insult to the Govt of India. All the judges including the CJI Chandrachud, should be hauled up and forced to resign by the President of India…,” read the claim, alluding that the bench was biased against the government.

The archived version of the tweet can be seen here.

The SC Hearing

The SC was reportedly hearing the case where it sought a reply from the government-run State Bank of India (SBI) as to why electoral bond numbers were not disclosed. The case was heard by a five-judge Constitution bench — comprising CJI DY Chandrachud and justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra — on Monday. The SC told the SBI to stop being “selective” and make “complete disclosure” of all details related to the electoral bonds scheme by March 21.

Fact Check

Newschecker first ran a keyword search for “CJI Chandrachud walks away electoral bonds hearing”, which did not throw up any credible news report about such an incident.

We also noticed that the viral video does not show the CJI nor any of the other judges getting up from the seat, but just the CJI looking to get up from his chair, further raising our doubts.

While going through the comments posted under the tweet, we came across several users pointing out that the video was cropped misleadingly and that the judges did not walk away. According to the users, the hearing continued for another 20 minutes after the CJI adjusted his chair.

Taking a cue from this, we looked up the hearing on Youtube, live-streamed by the official account of the Supreme Court of India on March 18, 2024. We can clearly see the moment at the 27:00 mark where the CJI adjusts his chair, but he does not get up to walk away nor do any of the other judges. The hearing continued for another 20 minutes past the moment, clearly contradicting the viral claim that the CJI and other judges walked away midway through hearing the solicitor-general’s arguments.

Conclusion

Viral video was misleadingly clipped to falsely claim that the CJI and judges walked away when the SG was presenting his arguments during the SC’s hearing of the electoral bonds case.

Also Read: Election Commissioner Skipped Question On Alleged Biases Towards Ruling Party Leaders? No, Viral Claim Is False

Result: False

Source
Youtube video, Supreme Court of India,March 18, 2024


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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