Photo Of N Ram And TN Finance Minister Falsely Shared As SC Judges Kant And Pardiwala
Pardiwala and Kant were not part of the photo at all, which instead shows former editor-in-chief of The Hindu N Ram, and Tamil Nadu Finance Minister P Thiaga Rajan.
An image showing a group of people sitting at a table is being shared with the claim that it shows Supreme Court judges Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala sharing a meal with NDTV founders Prannoy and Radhika Roy, along with Communist Party of India leader Brinda Karat.
BOOM found this claim to be false; Pardiwala and Kant were not part of the photo at all, which instead shows former editor-in-chief of The Hindu N Ram, his wife Mariam Ram, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister P Thiaga Rajan, the Roys, Brinda Karat, her husband and fellow CPI leader Prakash Karat, and Dipali Sikand, the founder of MindEscapes Club where the photo was taken.
We reached out to Ram, who further confirmed to us that Pardiwala and Kant were not part of the gathering seen in the photo. "I confirm that neither Justice Surya Kant nor Justice J B Pardiwala of the Supreme Court of India is in this photograph. I also confirm that we did not meet them," he said.
On July 1, 2022, during the plea appeal by former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma to club the FIRs against her on her remarks against Prophet Muhammad, Pardiwala and Justice Surya Kant, who oversaw the proceedings, rebuked her for her comments and highlighted her role in igniting communal tensions which eventually led to the murder of Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal.
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The photo was found being shared on Facebook with the following caption:
"See with whom the Supreme court judges who passed verdict are having lunch with. The lady to the left of Roy is the one who got the stay of bull dozer in Delhi.. Rinita Mazumdar,then 2 SC judges, #SuryaKant and #Pardiwala with the naxal gang. Pranab Roy & Radhika Roy are there."
Click here to view the above post.
We ran a search on social media using the first sentence of the caption, and found the photo going viral on Facebook and Twitter with the same claim.
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While BOOM observed the photo carefully, but could not spot Justice Kant and Justice Pardiwala in it.
Instead, we observed N Ram, former editor-in-chief of The Hindu, in the photo. We looked through Ram's Twitter feed, and found that he had posted a statement refuting the claim going viral.
In a screenshot of a Facebook post made by him, he states that the two people claimed to be Pardiwala and Kant in the viral posts, are in fact him and Tamil Nadu Finance Minister P Thiaga Rajan (PTR).
He also confirmed the same, while speaking to BOOM.
"This photograph was taken with our permission, on July 1, 2022, when we were having lunch (a chef's table session with PTR) at the restaurant at MindEscapes (near Ooty). The restaurant commands a spectacular view of the Ketti Valley. Finance Minister PTR was travelling from Coimbatore to the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) in Wellington, where he had been invited to give a lecture. My wife, Mariam Ram, and I had arranged to meet him en route over lunch at MindEscapes. We invited our friends, Prakash Karat, Brinda Karat, Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, who were in the Niligiris at the time, to join us for lunch, to meet the Finance Minister," he said.
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Furthermore, we ran the viral photo through a reverse image search, and came across a tweet posted on July 3, 2022, by MindEscapes - the club mentioned by Ram. The post, which carried the viral photo, was made with the following caption, mentioning the names of those present in the photo and further confirming to us what Ram had stated:
"A Chef's Table session with Finance Minister - Tamil Nadu, Mr. P. Thiagarajan, Dr. Prannoy Roy and Mrs. Radhika Roy, Mrs. Brinda Karat and Mr. Prakash Karat, Mrs. and Mr. N. Ram and Dipali Sikand."
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