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Live Reporting/Streaming Of Court Proceedings: Madhya Pradesh & Allahabad High Courts To Hear Legal Journalists' Plea This Week

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
31 May 2021 3:51 AM GMT
Live Reporting/Streaming Of Court Proceedings: Madhya Pradesh & Allahabad High Courts To Hear Legal Journalists Plea This Week
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The Madhya Pradesh High Court & Allahabad High Court will hear this week the pleas by legal journalists who have moved the High Courts seeking permission for Live-streaming and Live-reporting.While the Bench of Justices Sheel Nagu and Gurpal Singh Ahluwalia of Madhya Pradesh High Court will hear the matter today i.e., Monday (May 31), the Bench of Justice Pankaj Naqvi of...

The Madhya Pradesh High Court & Allahabad High Court will hear this week the pleas by legal journalists who have moved the High Courts seeking permission for Live-streaming and Live-reporting.

While the Bench of Justices Sheel Nagu and Gurpal Singh Ahluwalia of Madhya Pradesh High Court will hear the matter today i.e., Monday (May 31), the Bench of Justice Pankaj Naqvi of the Allahabad High Court will hear the matter tomorrow, i.e., on Tuesday (June 1).

Before the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Senior Advocate, Nidhesh Gupta would be arguing the matter, along with Advocate Manu Maheshwari.

The petition before the Madhya Pradesh High Court

Asserting their fundamental rights to attend, observe, transcribe and report Court proceedings pertaining to matters of general public importance, four journalists have moved before the Madhya Pradesh High Court seeking permission for Live-streaming and Live-reporting.

The legal journalists, Nupur Thapliyal (Legal Correspondent, Live Law), Sparsh Upadhyay (Special CorrespondentLive Law) & Areeb Uddin Ahmed (Legal Correspondent, Bar & Bench), and Rahul Dubey (Legal Journalist, Dainik Bhaskar) have challenged the MP Video Conferencing & Audio-Visual Electronic Linkage Rules, 2020 to the extent they preclude 'third parties' from accessing virtual court proceedings and cause difficulty to media persons in real-time reporting on a public forum for citizens.

The Petitioners have relied on the case of Swapnil Tripathi & Ors. v. Supreme Court of India & Ors., whereby the Supreme Court had decided to live-stream Court proceedings in the larger public interest.

"Sunlight is the best disinfectant", a five-Judge Bench had observed.

Pursuant to this judgment, it is pointed out, the High Courts of Kerala, Bombay, Gujarat, and Madras have also adopted 'live-streaming of Court proceedings.

The petition also refers to a recent decision of the Supreme Court, dismissing Election Commission's plea to restrain media from reporting the oral remarks of judges.

Freedom Of Speech & Expression Extends To Reporting Judicial Proceedings: Supreme Court Rejects ECI Prayer To Stop Media Reporting Of Oral Remarks

The petition before the Allahabad High Court

The Second petition seeks permission for Live-streaming and Live-reporting of Court proceedings across the State of Uttar Pradesh, including the High Courts, Subordinate Courts, and Tribunals.

The petition has been filed by legal journalists Areeb Uddin Ahmed (Legal Correspondent, Bar & Bench) and Sparsh Upadhyay (Special Correspondent, Live Law) along with three law students, stating that access to Court proceedings has been extremely restricted for legal journalists and law students due to virtual hearings being conducted amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The petition has been moved through and will be argued by Advocates Shashwat Anand & Syed Ahmad Faizan.

It has been stated that live-streaming and live-reporting of Court proceedings will restore such access and harmonize VC hearings with the 'Open Justice' principle.

"The fundamental right to Freedom of the Press, of the petitioners – as journalists/ mediapersons – is well-settled in the day to gain access to VC or physical hearings and report the same as they occur, as the same is an implicit aspect of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution," the petition states.
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