Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday, June 09 2021, reserved an order on the interim bail of 4 legal journalists who had moved to the court to seek permission for live reporting.
A division bench of Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Virender Singh observed that the right to live reporting court proceedings cannot be disputed. The court marked that the matter should be sent to the E-Committee as a representation of the Journalists so that it could take a concrete decision on this matter.
Senior Advocate Nidhesh Gupta along with Advocate Manu Maheshwari, appearing for the journalists, Nupur Thapliyal (Legal Correspondent, Live Law), Sparsh Upadhyay (Special Legal Correspondent, Live Law), Areeb Uddin Ahmed (Legal Correspondent, Bar and Bench), and Rahul Dubey (Legal Correspondent, Dainik Bhaskar), who have challenged the MP Video conferencing and audio-visual electronic linkage rules, 2020, argued that the right of the media to report not just Judgment/Order but also judicial proceedings, is covered under Article 19 (1) (a) and it is also in favor of the concept of the open courts.
Mr. Gupta, further submitted that the citizens have the right to be informed, the media persons have the right to inform and if media persons would not be given access to the Court, or such a right would be denied to them, it would be against the right to freedom of speech and expression.
To this the bench observed that the right of the media persons to report the court proceedings live, cannot be disputed however it should be examined by the E-Committees of the High Court.
Responding to the statement Mr. Nidhesh Gupta argued that the committee will take its own time to come up with a solution and meanwhile, an interim relief could be granted to the journalists to have access to a certain link and through that link, they be given the access to the Court proceedings and once the E-Committee comes up with a concrete decision, the same would be applicable to all.
Mr. Gupta had also relied on the recent Judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of The Chief Election Commissioner vs. M.R Vijayabhaskar & Ors., 2021, in which the Top Court had asserted the right to live court proceedings.
Observing that Senior Counsel Nidhesh Gupta has assisted the Court on this crucial issue, the Court reserved an order on the point of interim Relief.