SC reserves decision on media guidelines

A constitution Bench of the Supreme Court reserved judgment on the issue of framing guidelines for media amidst a cautioning note from senior jurists that any attempt to make a “law” to rein in journalists would be branded judicial over-reach and open a floodgate of protest

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: May 4, 2012 2:39 am

A constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday reserved judgment on the issue of framing guidelines for media amidst a cautioning note from senior jurists that any attempt to make a “law” to rein in journalists would be branded judicial over-reach and open a floodgate of protest.

Senior advocate Fali S Nariman,whose complaint against the leakage of a privileged communication in an ongoing litigation between SEBI and Sahara Group was quoted as the launching point for media hearings before the Bench,said he had thought of withdrawing his complaint on realising that the Bench had expanded its ambit to media reporting in general. Nariman had said that initially he was under the impression that the court would restrain itself to his complaint alone.

A five-judge Bench led by the CJI S H Kapadia,which had begun hearing on the issue since March 27,was told by lawyers like former attorney general Soli Sorabjee to refrain from taking up the mantle of the legislature and frame laws on media conduct. But the Bench had protested,asking Nariman and Sorabjee as to whether it “can’t come out with some principles (on regulating the media)”.

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