9 Jun 2021 9:11 AM GMT
The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday reserved the order on interim relief on a plea by 4 Legal Journalists who have moved the High Courts seeking permission for Live-reporting.A Division Bench of Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Virender Singh orally observed that the Right to Live report the court proceedings cannot be disputed, however, the bench also remarked that the matter...
The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday reserved the order on interim relief on a plea by 4 Legal Journalists who have moved the High Courts seeking permission for Live-reporting.
A Division Bench of Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Virender Singh orally observed that the Right to Live report the court proceedings cannot be disputed, however, the bench also remarked that the matter could be sent to the E-Committee as a representation of the Journalists so that it could take a concrete decision on this matter.
The journalists, Nupur Thapliyal (Legal Correspondent, Live Law), Sparsh Upadhyay (Special Legal Correspondent, Live Law), Areeb Uddin Ahmed (Legal Correspondent, Bar and Bench), and Rahul Dubey (Legal Correspondent, 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.
Appearing for the 4 Journalists, Senior Advocate Nidhesh Gupta along with Advocate Manu Maheshwari argued that the right of the media to report not just Judgment/Order but also judicial proceedings, is covered under Article 19 (1) (a) and it is also in favor of the concept of the open courts.
Further, Mr. Gupta submitted that the citizens have the right to be informed and media has the right to inform and if media persons would be given access to the Court, or such a right would be denied to them, it would be against the right to freedom of speech and expression.
To this, the Court observed that no one can dispute the right to the media persons to report the Court's proceedings live, however, the same must be examined by the E-committee of the High Court.
In response to this, Mr. Nidhesh Gupta argued that the E-committee will take its own time to come up with a decision on live streaming and live reporting of the Court proceedings and meanwhile, an interim relief could be granted to the Journalists to have access to a certain link, and through that link, they be given the access to the Court proceedings and once the E-Committee comes up with a concrete decision, the same would be applicable to all.
Mr. Gupta also relied on the recent Judgment of Apex Court in the Case of The Chief Election Commissioner of India v. M.R Vijayabhaskar & Ors., 2021, in which the Supreme Court has asserted the right to live report the Court proceedings.
He argued that the oral remarks and exchanges made within the Courtroom between the Lawyer and the Judges are part of judicial proceedings and thus, the media has the right to report the same.
It was also argued that in Madhya Pradesh High Court, the norm has been made the exception, and the exception has been made the rule and that the norm is that you have to see judicial proceedings as a facet of open court proceedings unless prohibited, but in Madhya Pradesh, we are being prohibited from reporting judicial proceedings, unless permitted.
Lastly, observing that Senior Counsel Nidhesh Gupta has assisted the Court on this crucial issue, the Court reserved an order on the point of interim Relief.