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Lawyers also guilty for trial by media: SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed reservations on the increasing trend of lawyers giving out bites to news channels and media organisations in an attempt to capture their moment in the spotlight,even in cases pending trial.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
February 25, 2009 11:51:51 pm

The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed reservations on the increasing trend of lawyers giving out bites to news channels and media organisations in an attempt to capture their moment in the spotlight,even in cases pending trial.

During the hearing of arguments by amicus curiae Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium in the BMW case,the three-judge bench of Justices B N Aggrawal,G S Singhvi and Aftab Alam observed,“Even counsels with 30 to 40 years’ experience make open remarks on the credibility of X,Y or Z on television. It is shocking. Have we gone so low? (It is) shameful for all of us. They must desist from the suppression of legal principles,” the Bench remarked.

Subramaniam,during his submission,also slammed the media for doing “incalculable” damage to the reputation of individuals,including judges,by reporting and telecasting slanderous news without cross-checking facts.

While there was every need for a vigilant media to act as watchdog,it has unfortunately been indulging in reckless reporting and coverage and destroying the image of individuals,Subramanium argued.

While the media has the right to conduct sting operations,it cannot make an “attack on the administration of justice” by commenting or reporting cases pending trial,as in the BMW case,he added.

The Bench also made strong remarks on the decline of ethics and moral values in people while hearing the appeals filed by senior lawyer R K Anand and former prosecutor I U Khan against the High Court ruling barring them from practising in court for four months.

“Six persons were killed in the accident. Three persons came out of the car,inspected the vehicle for dents and drove away,instead of being concerned about the victims,” the court was told as Subramanium read out portions from the prosecution’s version.

“What type of people do we have? They have just become robots. They have no sense,” the Court remarked.

On August 21 last year,Anand and Khan were found guilty by the High court of trying to influence prosecution witness Sunil Kulkarni in the BMW hit-and-run case after being taped in a sting by a TV channel.

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