The Supreme Court has amended the accreditation norms to confer discretion on the Chief Justice of India to waive the condition that a journalist should possess law degree for regular accreditation.
The amendment made as per meeting of the Accreditation Committee held on August 24 states :
"However, the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India, in his discretion, in appropriate cases can waive the condition for possessing Law degree, in case a working journalist/correspondent fulfills the following condition.
He holds a Bachelor degree from a recognized University and possesses 5 years' continuous experience, in addition to the experience prescribed in the following paragraphs, as may be applicable"
However, other conditions prescribed originally in the circular dated 07.09.2015 remain unchanged.
The norms for regular accreditation reads that “He should ordinarily have five years’ continuous regular Court reporting experience in a daily newspaper and/or a national or international news agency or electronic Media Organization of which at least three and a half years must be at Supreme Court or at any High Court(s) in India". In case of electronic media, one should have five years' continuous regular court reporting experience of which at least two years must be at Supreme Court or at any High Court.
Persons who have reported Supreme Court proceedings on temporary accreditation for a period of six months for any newspaper/news agency/electronic media house can also apply for regular accreditation. But, if the reporter is representing a newspaper, it should be having at least 40,000 circulation as certified by the Registrar of Newspapers.
Identity cards will be issued to the accredited journalists/correspondents. For temporary accreditation, only three and a half years’ experience is required, of which two years should be from High Courts. The condition of Law Degree for temporary accreditation has not been relaxed.
The revised norms also require the correspondents to be in formal dress in court premises and to prominently display his accreditation ID card. It also asks them to maintain decorum in court. It adds that the correspondent should make a serious endeavour of reporting a faithful account without any distortions and embellishments.
The circular also says that the accreditation can be withdrawn, at any time, without assigning any reasons.