Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Supreme Court can restrain media coverage if asked

New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that a person can move a high court or the top court to seek temporary injunction against the media if he fears that reporting of the legal proceedings in his case could prejudice his right to fair trial or interfere with the dispensation.
However, an order could be passed by the court, though sparingly and only after hearing the other side, a constitution bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia said in a 55-page judgment that deals with the precedents abroad and in India. Refusing to lay down guidelines for the media, the apex court, in fact, stressed on the importance of the fourth estate in a democracy. It said the power to issue guidelines or regulations for media is vested in Parliament but the court could only introduce a ‘neutralizing device’ such as temporary restrain on the media coverage. This measure is preventive and not punitive in nature, the bench that included justices DK Jain, Surinder Singh Nijjar, Ranjana Prakash Desai and Jagdish Singh Khehar held.

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