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Writing on sub-judice matter is not contempt: HC

Last Updated: Friday, October 29, 2010 - 18:49

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has said that writing about a sub-judice matter does not amount to trial by media and it should not be restrained.

"The mere newspaper write-up raising the grievance and giving the opinion does not by itself amount to trial by media. The right to speech and expression envisaged under the
constitution also includes the right to express opinion in the media," Justice Manmohan Singh said.

The court dismissed the plea of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society seeking its direction to initiate contempt proceedings against one of its senior staff for
expressing his grievance in a newspaper when a case was pending against him.

"The times have changed and the media has very active role to play in the country. There are cases of more heinous nature and of utmost importance wherein the media tries to
delve into the areas which the parties litigating may find objectionable," the court said.

"It would be incorrect to draw the inference that the said thing would amount to trial by media by itself or the court is going to be influenced by such things," the court

The court said contempt proceedings should be initiated where there is "deliberate or wilful disobedience" of the orders of the court or in anything which undermines the
majesty of the court.

"The mere newspaper report or write-up raising some grievance, in the opinion of this court, will not enable this court to exercise the contempt jurisdiction," the court said.


First Published: Friday, October 29, 2010 - 18:49

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