Committee Setup on Media Reporting of Court Hearing

The Delhi High Court has setup a committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice Ruma Pal to recommend recommendations on “how court proceedings ought to be covered in the media in Delhi”.

The committee will submit its report in three months. Committee will also study best practices from foreign jurisdiction on guidelines for media coverage of court proceedings.

It will also suggest ways to balance free press and fair trial. The committee would also look at training courses for court reporters.

Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal has constituted a committee which comprises Justice Pal, Justice Manmohan of Delhi High court, retired Justice G Raghavan (director, National Judicial Academy), Retired IAS officer SC Panda, Arghya Sengupta (research director, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy), Dayan Krishnan and advocate Bharat Chugh.

The intention behind the guidelines, is that though remedy such as contempt of court is available for inaccurate or prejudicial coverage, “they become available only after the media has already erred, and often, irreversible damage to the case done”.

The committee will recommend “methods of balancing a free press with the need for fair trial and ensuring integrity of judicial proceedings”. It will also suggest methodology for accreditation of court reporters through an independent process.