- Supreme Court said media has every right to cover court proceedings
- SC said, “Can’t Stop Media From Reporting”
- EC has filed a plea against the Madras High Court
The Supreme Court of India said, on Thursday, that the media has every right to cover the court proceedings but the senior judges must exercise restraint and not make off the cuff remarks, as the bench was listening to Election Commission’s plea against the Madras High Court.
The bench which was headed by Justice DY Chandrachud acknowledged that the high court’s remarks were “harsh”, however, he did not expunge them saying they do not form part of the judicial order.
The top court said that media discharges an important function in adding vitality to any democracy and it cannot be restricted from covering court proceedings in any manner.
The bench, which also comprised of Justice M R Shah, said: “It will be retrograde to restrain HCs from making observations or gagging media from reporting observations.”
The bench said that the courts need to remain alive to the ever-evolving technology of media, it is not good if it is restrained from reporting judicial proceedings.
The top court further lauded the high courts for their commendable work during the COVID-19 induced pandemic and said they are effectively supervising the pandemic management.
Last week the Election Commission of India approached the Supreme Court against what it called “blatantly disparaging remarks” by the Madras High Court over holding elections amid India’s deadly second wave of Coronavirus.
On the 26th of April, the Madras HC slammed the ECI and said it “should probably be booked for murder” for allowing political rallies while the country was witnessing surging coronavirus infections.
The Madras HC said, “Your institution is singularly responsible for the second wave of Covid-19. Election Commission officers should be booked on murder charges probably,” in its observations.
The top court had reserved its order on EC’s plea earlier this week but stated that the Election Commission of India’s plead to stop media from reporting oral observations is too far-fetched and cannot be allowed.
The top court has asked the EC to take Madras HC’s observations in the right spirit.