Supreme Court: Freedom of Speech includes the freedom of reporting courtroom proceedings

Case- Election Commission of India v. High Court of Madras

Recently, a division Bench of the Madras High Court had stated that the Election Commission of India (ECI) was responsible for the surge of COVID-19 and should be held liable for murder.

The Chief Election Commissioner approached the Supreme Court, after the High Court refused to restrain media from reporting the remarks made by the Bench.The plea in the Supreme Court before Justice D.Y Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah sought to restrain media from reporting oral remarks made during court proceedings.

The petition also stated that such derogatory comments would affect the faith of people in the process of democracy. The Bench dismissed the plea and stated that reporting of courtroom proceedings and oral arguments of the court, expect in martial and sexual abuse cases, is a part of the fundamental right to freedom of speech.

The Bench also observed that the real-time reporting of these proceedings are seen on social media and have become an important part of open court proceedings.

It was further stated that such proceedings are required for lawyers to develop creative arguments and should not be restricted.

The Bench also stated that as Constitutional authorities Courts should be sensitive to constitutional values while delivering any judgement or oral observations.

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