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“Judges at liberty to decline access to any person to their Chambers”,Kerala HC
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“Judges at liberty to decline access to any person to their Chambers”,Kerala HC

Murali Krishnan

After the Kerala High Court had closed its media room following clashes between lawyers and journalists, the High Court has now issued a ‘press note’ clarifying its stance on the access for scribes to the Court.

As per the same, the High Court has not barred media from reporting proceedings. Instead, it will now undertake the exercise of framing Rules for providing easy access for journalists to judgments and orders of the court.

The notice, which was issued yesterday by Registrar General, Ashok Menon, states that,

“…there is a need to make public the fact that there is no ban imposed on journalists from attending and reporting court proceedings.

The Committee to formulate Code for the Press and Electronic Media in relation to reporting of Court proceedings, will look into the issue of framing guidelines to provide prompt and easy access for the journalists to judgments and orders which are pronounced and issued.”

Interestingly, the High Court, it seems, has taken note of the allegations of judges’ chambers being accessed by scribes to procure judgments and orders. The press note states that individual judges will be at liberty to decline access to any person to their chambers.

“Taking into account the requirement to insulate the Chamber and Office of each judge and attached staff including Private Secretaries and Personal Assistants, the individual judges will be at liberty to decline access to any person to their Chambers and Office of Private Secretaries and Personal Assistants including Personal Assistants attending to the court work of that judge from the Personal Assistants’ pool.”

Meanwhile, there was tension between journalists and police yesterday at Kozhikode as the police stopped journalists from entering a magistrate’s court to cover the infamous Ice Cream Parlour case. According to Times of India, the police took away four journalists to the police station but they were later released. The district judge later clarified that there was no order given by him to refrain media from reporting the court proceedings.

However, Calicut Bar Association has passed a resolution condemning the media for targeting police officials by publishing false news. As per the said resolution, some media persons “tried to create problems by obstructively parking a media van” in the Calicut District Court premises and were reluctant to obey the direction of the police to remove the van. The resolution states that the media people used abusive language against the police while the police officers behaved politely.

The resolution has strongly opposed “punitive action against courageous and diligent police officers who were only performing their official duty”.

Read the press note by Kerala High Court.

“Judges at liberty to decline access to any person to their Chambers”,Kerala HC