The Bombay High Court has issued notice in the petitions filed by journalists against the order by special CBI judge SJ Sharma prohibiting the media from reporting on the alleged fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, Tulsiram Prajapati and Kausar Bi.
Justice Revati Mohite Dere has clubbed two petitions that have identical prayers. The first petition was filed by a group of nine journalists seeking quashing of the media gaga order and the second petition was filed by the Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists (BUJ) also seeking the same.
Notice has been issued to all respondents, including the original accused in the case, the CBI and the States of Gujarat and Rajasthan.
The petitioners, who represent various media organisations from print as well as television, argued in their petition that the gag order was illegal and the special CBI judge had no jurisdiction since there is no provision in the Criminal Procedure Code authorising the judge to pass such an injunction.
It was argued in the petition that the special CBI judge rushed in passing the order on the apprehension of misreporting in the case whereas media has been reporting on the said case for over 5 years and no instance of misreporting had occurred.
The matter will now come up for hearing on January 23.