The Supreme Court rejected this week a gag order request by a lawyer who wanted to bar media from reporting on a high profile graft case.
Led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, the five-judge constitution bench ruled that the freedom of speech and expression as well as the freedom of the press was to be “respected”.
The request was raised by a lawyer during a heated session. The lawyer said that the media should not be allowed to report on the hearing as it might tarnish the reputation of the highest court of the country.
CJI Misra responded that he believed in the freedom of speech and the freedom of press, and refused to pass a gag order.
CJI “Master Of the Court”, Bench Holds
The constitution bench which was called into session urgently at 3 pm noted that the CJI had the sole prerogative to allocate the matters.
The bench overturned an order passed earlier by a two-judge bench that called for the constitution of a five-judge bench to hear a case involving bribes being taken on behalf of judges.
The bench said that no two-judge or three-judge bench had powers to direct the CJI to set up a specific bench.