The Supreme Court of India on May 3 (Monday) said that the media cannot be stopped from reporting any court hearing and that it “must report fully” what happens in court.
The SC judgment came at a time when the Election Commission complained about being “castigated without any evidence” on political rallies during the campaign for state elections.
“The media is powerful and communicating what happens in court. Not only our judgments, but the raising of questions, answers and dialogues is a concern for citizens. Media not reporting observations is far-fetched,” the Supreme Court told the Election Commission.
It may be mentioned here that the ECI had approached the Apex Court last week against what it called “blatantly disparaging remarks” by the Madras High Court over holding polls amid the deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Madras High Court on April 26 said the Election Commission “should probably be booked for murder” for not stopping political rallies for elections held in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.
However, these observations did not make it to the final order, which said “at no cost can counting become a catalyst for a further surge”.
It’s worth mentioning here that ECI’s petition before the Supreme Court says the remarks “dented the institution” and asks that the media be stopped from reporting observations.
It further points at the role of the government, which is significant as the government has often shifted the responsibility of enforcing Covid safety rules to the election body.