Supreme Court Chief Justice TS Thakur has directed that the media room closed down by Kerala High court lawyers after the tussle with media persons be opened again.
The SC gave this direction on a petition filed by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists. The court also directed the acting Chief Justice of the Kerala High court to ensure that the media room is repaired.
KUWJ representatives said that Supreme Court Justice Kurien Joseph has been given the charge of overseeing the reopening of the media room. KUWJ also said that the Chief Justice had promised that the media will allowed to work peacefully in court.
In another significant development in the stand off between lawyers and journalists two Kerala High Court Judges today held discussions with representatives of the two groups and decided to set up a Media Relations Committee to sort out issues between them.
The committee, to be headed by the district sessions judge, will comprise representatives of journalists and advocates' associations and also that of advocates' clerks.
It was decided that any issue relating to the functioning of the media should be resolved by the committee and matters which cannot be settled should be brought to the notice of the two judges-- Justice P N Ravindran and Justice P R Ramachandra Menon-- who arrived here this morning to hold discussions.
A section of lawyers had yesterday gone on rampage in the district court complex here and pelted stones and empty beer bottles at the journalists who had gone to cover a court case.
The incident was sequel to the tiff off between journalists and lawyers of Kerala High Court in Kochi over the media coverage of the case of an alleged bid by a government pleader to molest a woman in the city.
Kerala Union of Working Journalists President C Rahim and Trivandrum Press Club President Pradeep Pillai told reporters after meeting the two judges, that they had conveyed that yesterday's incidents on the media here were without any provocation.
"A media relations committee has been formed to sort out the issues," they added.
Meanwhile, a section of advocates took out a procession in front of the Ernakulam Press club at Kochi and allegedly made some provocative remarks.
In Thrissur, advocates burnt some newspapers in front of the Press Club.
Lawyers in various parts of the state boycotted courts today also.
A judicial commission will be probing the Kochi incident.