A day after a group of lawyers prevented mediapersons from covering the Kerala High Court proceedings, Governor P Sathasivam, a former Chief Justice of India, today appealed to the two fraternities to “settle their differences amicably through dialogue”. In a statement, Sathasivam said the functions of the media and lawyers were “integral” to the maintenance of democracy.
“The civil society has high expectations from lawyers and journalists as their functions are integral to the maintenance of democracy in our country. “While the legal fraternity strives to ensure justice to the people, the media’s presence in courts helps in ensuring the society’s right to know,” he said.
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Maintaining that disputes and disagreements between the two fraternities were “certainly not in the interest of the society”, he appealed to both the parties “to settle the matter amicably through dialogue”, thereby ensuring “a new phase of continued cordiality and mutual respect”. Eight legal correspondents, three of them women, were
prevented by some lawyers from covering a matter in the court of Chief Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar yesterday, forcing the law enforcement agencies to throw a ring of protection around the scribes and lead them to safety at Kochi.
The journalists were told that they were not allowed to enter the court premises following which, they filed a written complaint with the High Court Registrar, stating that they had been “threatened” and not allowed to carry on with their professional duty.
In July, some lawyers had attacked mediapersons outside the High Court complex and threatened them that they would not be allowed to cover the court proceedings. Since then, the media has not been allowed to report on
the court proceedings. Yesterday, the reporters had gone to cover the court proceedings, following a safety assurance by the High Court authorities.
Meanwhile, describing the action of the lawyers as “goondaism”, state Congress chief VM Sudheeran said it could not be justified.