Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) - have condemned the high court decision.

Media-lawyers tussle Kerala HC denies reporters access to judges chambersPTI
news Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - 10:30

The Kerala high court on Tuesday temporarily blocked media reporters from accessing judgments in the judges' chambers.

Later in the evening, the court administration clarified that there is no such strict ban, but suggested that reporters visiting the chambers would be inappropriate.  
 
Most of the court reporting was done using the judgement copies available from the chambers.
 
This decision was reportedly the result of the tussle between lawyers union and media, going on in the state for the last few days. 
 
Even media was stopped from covering open court proceedings on the last day, and they were blocked from entering the Ernakulam district court.
 
The Times of India reports that international media advocacy groups - Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) - have condemned the high court decision.
 
The high court on Monday had banned any kind of assembly within or outside the court complex.
 
On Tuesday, the high court's public relations wing informed reporters about the new restriction, by contacting each one of them over phone, ToI reports. The High court registrar also informed media that the judgements would be mailed to reporters so that they can access them.
 
The move has invited criticism all over. RSF's Asia-Pacific head Benjamin Ismail told ToI in an email statement: "Violence against media professionals is unacceptable. The fact that some of the physical assaults were perpetrated by legal practitioners, who normally have the highest respect for the law, is indeed worrying. We call for a return to peaceful relation between the media, the court and all its members. We also denounce the ban on media to freely cover court cases, which bear an interest for the public as the issue of aggression against woman is a social issue of general interest. The government and the justice system of Kerala must respect the law fully." 

 

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