The Supreme Court Thursday restrained media from reporting arguments or any of the proceedings related to its decision to lay down guidelines to recover damages from rioteers who destroy public property during agitations.
“The matter is sensitive… none shall report anything in the case including the members of the media here” a bench headed by justice JS Khehar said.
There was no written order dictated though.
The bench said important questions of law were involved in the issue before it. “Questions and answers during the hearing should not be reported,” the bench told mediapersons who were present in the courtroom when the matter was taken up.
SC had Wednesday expressed serious concern over large scale destruction caused to public property during protests. Its observations came while hearing Gujarat firebrand ‘Pattidar Andolan’ leader Hardik Patel’s plea to release him on bail in a sedition case.
Patel spearheaded the agitation on OBC quota for the Patel community in the state and was slapped with a criminal case after he allegedly incited one of the volunteers to kill policemen instead of committing suicide.
Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, who appears for Patel, began to place his arguments on what kind of guidelines can the court lay down the bench issued the gag order.
A day before the court had observed that rioters cannot hold the country to ransom.
The court’s observation comes at a time when large-scale violence in Haryana during the Jat agitation for
reservation has left behind destroyed businesses, ruined livelihoods and damaged property. Delhi is still reeling under a crisis brought on by the protesters damaging the Munak canal, one the main sources of water for the Capital.
“The country cannot be held to ransom. You cannot burn the country’s or its citizens’ property,” it had said.