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SC Refuses To Entertain Plea Seeking Declaration That There Is No Freedom Of Speech With Respect To Subjudice Matters

Radhika Roy
18 Sep 2020 3:31 PM GMT
SC Refuses To Entertain Plea Seeking Declaration That There Is No Freedom Of Speech With Respect To Subjudice Matters
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The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea which sought for a declaration that the Fundamental Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression did not lie with reference to subjudice matters and final orders, except to the extent of fair and true reporting. A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde presided over the matter and informed Petitioner-in-Person Dr....

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The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea which sought for a declaration that the Fundamental Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression did not lie with reference to subjudice matters and final orders, except to the extent of fair and true reporting. 

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde presided over the matter and informed Petitioner-in-Person Dr. Subash Vijayran that what he was saying was the law in itself.

"Read the law and you will find that what you have said is the law", said the CJI to the Petitioner.

Dr. Vijayran responded that the issue pertained to the erosion of people's faith in the Court due to the way the media has been acting.

The grievance of Dr. Vijayran further lay against lawyers, particular Senior Advocates, who "consumed the Court's precious time" and aired their displeasure with the adverse orders rendered by the Court in the public domain.

To this, the CJI responded, "Your motives are good and noble, but you are trying to get a relief which we cannot give".

The Court also observed that the prayer was akin to saying that nobody should commit murder.

"It is true that nobody should commit murder, but how can an order be passed for that? We will not dismiss this, you may withdraw it".

In light of the above, the Petitioner withdrew his plea.

The plea, filed by Dr. Vijayran, prayed for directions by the Court to declare that no freedom of speech and expression existed with regard to subjudice matters and final orders, except to the extent of fair and accurate reporting of the proceedings before the Court. It further stated that such reporting must be conducted in a manner which does not directly or indirectly impute motives to the Judges or the Court.

It was also asserted that the there was "a growing trend where a set of lawyers criticize the judges and the judiciary while directly or indirectly imputing motives on the judges for passing a verdict in a specific way. These acts prima facie constitute contempt of court".

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