The Supreme Court on Monday told the election commission that media cannot be gagged from reporting any court hearing and the poll body must take the remarks made by the Madras High Court “in right spirit”.
“Media is a powerful watchdog in democracy, it cannot be stopped from reporting discussions in higher courts. Seeking relief such as media should not report on observations is too far-fetched,” the Supreme Court said in its observations, news agency PTI reported.
Asking the poll body to take High Court’s remark in the right spirit, the court said, “Often something is said due to past experience or after a series of orders not being adhered to. Everything cannot be in order.”
Supreme Court said when something is observed by judges during a hearing, it’s in the larger public interest. “They are also humans & they are also stressed. Take this in the correct spirit. We don’t want to demoralize our high courts, they are vital pillars of our democracy,” it said.
A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud was hearing the poll panel’s petition challenging the Madras HC’s ‘murder charges’ remark and its plea to restrain media from publishing the court’s oral observations for blaming the pol body for surge in covid cases . The Election Commission had said the Madras HC’s comment was “uncalled for, blatantly disparaging and derogatory” and moved the apex court on Saturday.
Pulling up the Election Commission for “not stopping political parties” held in Tamil Nadu and other states amid a Covid spike, the Madras HC had said that murder charges should probably be imposed on the panel for being “the only institution responsible for the situation that we are in today”.
The Election Commission’s petition before the Supreme Court says the remarks “dented the institution” and asks that the media be stopped from reporting observations.