Delhi High Court has held that application for curbing or postponing media reporting of a case can only be moved in the court which is hearing the case on merits, and not any other court.
In the present case, the Petitioner had filed an application seeking court's direction to stop the defendant from giving information about her sexual harassment at workplace case against the Petitioner to the electronic media.
The Petitioner had argued the following before the court:
that the defendant has been successively improving her case and causing prejudice to the plaintiff
from selective release of news by the defendant, the plaintiff is being subjected to a media trial and suffering;
that at least the defendant be restrained from going to the media with respect to filing of the present suit by the plaintiff.
Rejecting the claim of the Petitioner, Justice Endlaw observed that:
'the order restraining the said complainant from going to the media can be made only by the Court which is seized of the prosecution or complaint or other proceedings initiated by the complainant, inasmuch as it is that Court only which is equipped to take a call on the merits of the complaint and if is of prima facie view that though the complaint proceedings have to be taken to logical end, appear to be without any substance and reporting of the contents of the FIR / complaint and the prosecution / proceedings pursuant thereto are prejudicing the person complained against, issue requisite direction.'
He also noted that it is not open to another Court to enter into the said controversy and take a call on the respective merits of the case of the complainant and the person complained against, and to pass any orders restraining media reporting of such proceeding, inasmuch as legal and Court proceedings are in the public domain and in open Court and media reporting there of is only an extension of the Court room.
The Petitioner was represented by Mr Anchit Sharma and Ms Anukriti Pareek
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