The court refused to grant any immediate relief to the
journalists as he posted the petition for further hearing on February 13. The hearing of
the gang-rape case, which is being conducted day-to-day, will have made much progress
by then. Police told the court that the media should not
be allowed as all cases of rape must be conducted in-camera “especially in such a case with an emotional content and also in the best interest of speedy trial”.
Invoking Section 327(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, it said “it shall not be lawful for anybody to publish any matter regarding the proceedings except with the prior permission of the court”.
Meenakshi Lekhi, senior advocate appearing for the journalists, urged the court to lift the gag, saying “freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right and it should not be violated. It is a journalist's duty to report the case. The media have been reporting the case responsibly from Day One and have not revealed the name of the victim.”