SC adds more cases for deliberation in media norms

New Delhi: The Supreme Court, which is deliberating framing guidelines for media reporting of court proceedings, has added four more cases, including the Aarushi murder case for widening the scope of arguments.

A Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia has been hearing the issue after applicatons were filed in the case involving the dispute between Sahara Group and SEBI in the wake of the leakage of documents relating to a sub-judice matter to media.

While commencing the hearing, the bench had said any party can file intervention application for making the submission in the matter.

However, during the hearing, some advocates including senior counsel Rajiv Dhavan, who was appearing for The Editors Guild of India, had complained that the arguments were being advanced by taking into consideration only one matter and in absence of sufficient facts it was difficult to develop arguments.

On his submission, the bench had said there are some pending cases in which comments were made against the judges and senior advocates.

Accordingly, an order has been passed on April 4 by the CJI to include the four pending cases in which directions have been sought for restraining the media from reporting the criminal cases under investigation, for laying guidelines on the reporting of sub-judice matters and initiating contempt proceedings for incorrect publication of judicial matters.

These issues were raised in matters including that in which dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar are accused of double murder of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj, contempt case filed by an NGO against a weekly magazine for publishing confessional statements of accused facing criminal proceeding.

The bench has also included a case in which an NGO has sought direction for laying norms for TV channels for "minimising" presentation of scenes depicting violence and sexual abuse in news reports and serials.

It has also added an intervention application filed by News Broadcasters Association to assist the court on laying down norms for governing the news coverage by electronic media.