While it once stressed on journalists to have law degrees in order to obtain accreditation for court reporting, the Kerala High Court has now revised norms for accreditation of legal correspondents with immediate effect spelling out that a journalist should hold a law degree or a post-graduate degree in any faculty, a degree in journalism or a degree in any faculty with diploma in journalism for regular accreditation.
However, the revised ruled make it mandatory for a journalist who wishes to obtain a regular accreditation to complete the training programme conducted by the Kerala Judicial Academy for correspondents on a temporary accreditation from the high court.
The high court has also brought down the mandatory regular court reporting experience from five years to three years in a media organisation for regular accreditation.
While it earlier sought five years’ experience, the revised rules say that a correspondent should have 3 years continuous court reporting experience in a media house or six-month experience of reporting proceedings of the Kerala High Court in a temporary accreditation.
A correspondent is now required to complete the training program conducted by the Kerala Judicial Academy for the correspondents on temporary accreditation by the high court of Kerala.
For temporary accreditation, the same academic qualification is required but with two years of continuous regular court reporting.
A temporary accreditation will be granted for a maximum of three years.
Besides there is also provision for temporary reporting facility wherein the registrar general may grant temporary reporting facility to a working journalist for a day or a short duration upon furnishing of a letter from the editor making a request for specific days.
The rules for grant of accreditation can be relaxed by the Chief Justice for special reasons for any deserving candidate and the accreditation shall be liable to be withdrawn by the chief justice at any time without assigning any reasons.
The rules reiterate that accredited correspondents are required to dress formally in a manner befitting the decorum of the court.