Srinagar: A court on Wednesday declined to ‘gag’ media from reporting proceedings of a case involving senior congress leader and former Minister of State (MoS) for Health Shabir Ahmad Khan, who was charged by police for sexually assaulting a lady doctor here last year.
“Positive reporting of any proceedings comes within the parameters of right to expression which is available to every citizen and is fundamental in nature. Media both electronic and Print cannot be deprived of to air or print proceedings in a bonafide manner and no gag order can be passed to stop (it) from publishing or reporting proceedings bonafidely as per the directions and guidelines of apex court and (J&K)High Court,” said the CJM Srinagar, Virender Singh Bhou, while disposing Khan’s application, seeking a direction for restraining press from reporting the proceedings of the case.
“It is however made clear that media both electronic and Print shall not highlight this case just for the sake of publicity and previous news items shall not be repeated while future reporting of the court proceeding and only positive and bonafide reporting of the proceedings shall be permissible under law and guidelines framed by apex Court and our own High Court.”
Khan had claimed that while he resigned on his own from the cabinet to pave the way for fair investigation, media has started parallel media trial against him thereby damaging his status in the society.
Prosecution in its filed objections resisted the application saying that state was not interested in publicity of any case except justice should prevail.
It has also sought direction to dispose of the application in light of the guidelines and directions laid down by Supreme Court and JK High Court.