No Question of Expunging Madras HC's Critical Remarks arise : SC
On Thursday, the Supreme Court on Thursday said that the question of expunging the Madras high court’s critical remarks holding the Election Commission responsible for increase in COVID cases does not arise as they are not part of judicial order. It also trashed the appeal that media be restricted from reporting observations of court proceedings, saying it will be a retrograde act.
A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud acknowledged however that the high court’s remarks were harsh and at times off the cuff remarks are vulnerable for misinterpretation.
Lauding high courts for commendable work done by them in effectively supervising the COVID-19 pandemic management, the Apex Court said, “It will be retrograde to restrain HCs from making observations or gagging media from reporting observations.”
The Bench said that courts have to remain alive to developing technology of the media and it is not good if it is restrained from reporting judicial proceedings.
The Apex Court further stated that Article 19 of the Constitution not only gives the right to freedom of speech and expression to people but also confer the same right to media.
The verdict came on an appeal by the poll panel against the Madras high court’s observation.
The High Court had on April 26 criticized the EC for the increase in COVID-19 cases during the second wave of the pandemic, holding it “singularly” responsible for the spread of the viral disease, and called it the “the most irresponsible institution” and even said that its officials may be booked under murder charges.