Journalists file petition in Bombay HC challenging gag order in Sohrabuddin case

A group of journalists reporting from the Bombay High Court have filed a writ petition challenging the gag order on the reporting of the Sohrabuddin case. The petition, filed by nine reporters from various publications, has called upon Court to uphold the right to freedom of speech and expression and to ensure that they can perform their duty of informing the public.

Further, it is contended that the gag order passed by Special CBI judge of the Mumbai City Session Court SJ Sharma violates the principles of an open trial, as per Section 327 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The petition contends that the trial court failed to establish exceptional circumstances warranting a gag on the reporting of the case.

Thus, it has been prayed that the High Court set aside the trial court’s order, and in the interim, stay the same, pending the disposal of this writ petition. It was stated in the petition that the gag order was setting a bad precedent for other courts and would promote recurring grave injustice and illegalities.

On November 29, the Special CBI judge hearing the Sohrabuddin case allowed an application made by defence counsel Advocate Wahab Khan requesting to ban print and electronic media from publishing or reporting anything on the trial till the judgment is passed.

The petition, filed by Advocates Varsha Bhogle and Shailendra Singh, is likely to come up for hearing in January.

Image credit: Livelaw