Channel in trouble after airing Jaya’s hearing

  • Satya Prakash, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 22, 2014 23:39 IST

A bar body has written to the Supreme Court seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against a Tamil TV channel for allegedly recording and telecasting parts of Supreme Court proceedings during arguments on bail plea of AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa last week.

In a letter written to SC secretary general Ravindra Maithani, All India Bar Association (AIBA) president Adish C Aggarwala alleged that the TV channel telecast on October 18 the arguments of senior advocate Fali Nariman’s, who represented the former Tamil Nadu chief minister convicted and sentenced to four-year imprisonment.

The SC had ordered her release on bail on October 17.

Requesting the SC to initiate contempt proceedings against “Thanthi” television, AIBA said, “It is inappropriate and contemptuous to record and telecast court proceedings.

“This is a clear case of contempt of court and all those responsible for it must be taken to task,” Aggarwala told HT.

India follows an open justice system where courts are open to the media and journalists can report proceedings, orders and judgments freely, unless specifically restrained by the court or prohibited by law in certain cases.

But audio-visual recording of court proceedings is not permitted. In the past, courts have rejected petitions seeking permission for audio-visual recording of court proceedings.

But this is not an isolated incident. In 2012, the Delhi HC had sent a businessman to a mental hospital for two weeks after he was caught recording court proceedings using his mini tape recorder.

Maintaining that it was a votary of media freedom, including the recording and telecast of court proceedings, AIBA said, “It should not be done unless the court procedure permits the same.”

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