CPI(M) veteran and Chairman of state’s Administrative Reforms Committee V S Achuthanandan today requested Kerala High Court Chief Justice Mohan M Santhanagowder to end the standoff between a section of lawyers and mediapersons. The former Chief Minister, in a letter to the Chief Justice, said mediapersons were totally denied entry to courts because of the “suspicious obduracy” of certain lawyers. “As a result of this, no information regarding proceedings in various courts, which normally do have great repercussions on the social life, is known to the public. “This is something that reminds us of the dangerous dark days of the Emergency,” Achuthanandan said.
Barring a few lawyers who had prove themselves undemocratic and rude, all others — judges, political leaders, socio-cultural activists and writers have condemned the “negative attitude” of certain lawyers, he said. “Hence, once again, I earnestly urge your good self to intervene urgently in this matter so that the functioning of the courts and the reporting facility of the mediapersons are made smooth, which I hope, would usher in a new era in the democratic functioning of courts,” he added.
Media personnel are not being allowed to cover High Court and other court proceedings since July 19 after a group of lawyers chased them away, angered over a media report about a government pleader allegedly misbehaving with a woman. On October 15, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said there is no bar on journalists reporting court proceedings and had called the action of some lawyers obstructing reporting as unacceptable and that government would take action against those violating the law.
Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan had sought the CJ’s intervention to ensure freedom for mediapersons to report court proceedings in the state.