Even as friction between the media and advocates in Kerala continues, the Kerala High Court told the Supreme Court on Monday that the media room cannot be re-opened on an immediate basis.
The High Court had till recently maintained that there was no ban on the presence of mediapersons in court premises. This despite the media room remaining shut for the past three months, following escalating tension between lawyers and the media in Kerala.
The apex court was hearing a petition filed by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) against the on-going attacks and ban on mediapersons at various courts in the state.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for the scribes, while V Giri represented the Kerala High Court. The apex court had allowed the High Court Bar Association to be a party in the case.
The submission made on behalf of the registrar of the HC maintained that re-opening the media room will only further worsen the tension between the two groups.
According to reports, the HC said that it would take call on the reopening of the media room after 21 November.
Speaking on behalf of the scribes, Sibal pointed out the unnecessary dilly-dallying in bringing the matter to a close, and questioned the need for such procrastination. He added that the fundamental right of the press to report on court proceedings should not be compromised.
To which Giri responded that the state High Court was in the process of formulating accreditation to journalists, as done in the Supreme Court.
The KUWJ had approached the apex court on 05 October, seeking re-opening of the media room at the High Court that was shut following the July attacks on journalists.