Court warns media against sensationalization

New Delhi, July 14 (Calcutta Tube) The Supreme Court Wednesday cautioned the media against sensationalizing court matters and quoting out of context the observations that are made during hearings.

The media should realize its ‘own responsibility towards the nation’, the apex court bench of Justice J.M. Panchal and Justice A.K. Patnaik said during the hearing of a contempt petition against union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal.

The court chided the media for picking up ‘two salacious paragraphs’ from a well intended message written by Sibal.

The court will deliver the verdict on the contempt petition Thursday. The petition was filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 1995 and subsequently transferred to the Supreme Court. At that time Sibal was a senior counsel of the apex court.

Sibal attracted the contempt proceedings after a leading English daily extracted two paragraphs from the two-page message that was published in the souvenir brought out by an organization Mahfil-e-Wokala in association with some of the Supreme Court lawyers.

Sibal in his message talked about deterioration of moral standards of the legal community and cast aspersions on the judiciary.

Taking a jibe at the said newspaper, the court said that you had just two ‘salacious paragraphs’ from the message.

The court said that the way the newspaper report was carried makes the message contemptuous that was otherwise focused on reforms in legal system in its entirety. The newspaper which had tendered an apology before the high court reiterated it before the apex court Wednesday.

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