Media can't be stopped from reporting court discussions: Supreme Court on EC plea

The Court was hearing the plea filed by the Election Commission over Madras HC's directions to the media houses to not report on oral proceedings of the court
Media can't be stopped from reporting court discussions: Supreme Court on EC plea
The Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court rejected Election Commission's plea that the media should only report court orders and not the scathing observations made by the judges during the case hearing. The Court was hearing the plea filed by the Election Commission over Madras HC's directions to the media houses to not report on oral proceedings of the court.

The Court observed that oral discussions that take place in the court are in as much public interest as the final verdict of the court. The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah said, "In the 1950s, the proceedings of constitutional courts were reported by newspapers. But today, the proceedings before any constitutional court in important matters relating to public interest get reported minute by minute not only by the mainstream media but also by social media. That does not mean the judges should feel restrained from asking uncomfortable questions about the functioning of authorities."

The Court further explained that judges ask the question to lawyers to look deep into the matter before reaching a decision. The bench further added, "Media is an important watchdog to maintain the sanctity of democracy. The dialogue process of scrutiny in court proceedings, by getting reported by the media, reflects genuine application of mind (by judges) and fosters confidence in the minds of the general public about the system.”

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