The All-India Bar Association (AIBA) has sought suo motu contempt proceedings against Tamil news channel, Thanthi, by the Supreme Court for allegedly telecasting arguments in the bail application hearing of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the apex court.
The channel belongs to Thanthi Group that runs the largest Tamil newspaper, Dina Thanthi.
In a letter to the secretary-general of the Supreme Court, Adish C Aggarwala, the chairman of AIBA, said, “It is inappropriate and contemptuous to record and telecast court proceedings. The telecast of Fali Nariman’s arguments in Jayalalithaa bail matter in the Supreme Court by Thanthi Television on October 18 is contemptuous and the Supreme Court of India should take stern action of contempt of court against all concerned who are responsible for its recording and telecast.”
S Balasubramania Adithan, who is from the promoters’ family, did not respond to phone calls and text messages.
Cameras and recorders are prohibited inside a court and recording and publishing or telecasting of court proceedings without the permission of the court is illegal, said a senior advocate from Chennai. This is applicable in courts across the world, he said.
AIBA said although the association strongly advocates media freedom and freedom of expression, including the recording and telecast of court proceedings, it should not be done unless the court procedure permits the same.