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The revised norms for accreditation of legal correspondents in the Supreme Court of India seemed to have created quite a furore. There was a lot of speculation when the revised guidelines of 2015 were uploaded on the court website.
In fact, a media contingent of non-accredited journalists even met the court’s Registrar General apprehending cancellation of their temporary six monthly entry passes. While they got an assurance that this would not happen, there have been various reports (some quite misleading) about the new norms.
For instance, the “formals only” rule was in place even in 2007 and is not something introduced by the 2015 Rules. Further, while the overall experience required by a journalist in the print media and a news agency has been reduced to 5 years from 7 years, the norms now require that the entire 5 years should be continuous unlike the previous norms under which the mandate for continuous reporting was only for 3.5 years.
Below is a look at what has changed in the 2015 norms.
All said and done, it is interesting to note that the Supreme Court has never enforced many of its own norms by the letter.
For instance, although the norms require a PIB or a parliament pass for availing the temporary reporting facility, the same has never been enforced and thankfully so – getting a PIB or parliament pass being a more tedious exercise.