In order to safeguard the freedom of speech and expression, a group of journalists have moved the Bombay High Court against the impugned order of the Sohrabuddin Case.
This petition has been made after the application made by the Defence Counsel, Wahab Khan was accepted by the CBI judge, SJ Sharma. In his order he had decided to ban the print and electronic media from publishing or reporting anything on the trial till the judgment is passed.
The petitioners have contended that the gag order passed by Special CBI judge of the Mumbai City Session Court SJ Sharma violates the principles of an open trial, as per Section 327 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Further it has been argued that
“The Learned Trial Court has no powers to gag the media/press from reporting the proceedings of the trial if the trial is otherwise not held in-camera. Even otherwise, the Learned Trial Court ought to have considered that it does not have any inherent powers to order any in camera trial or to pass any gagging order, since the trial court is neither the High Court nor a Civil Court.”
It has been pointed out that as many of the petitioner journalists have enough experience in reporting on sensitive cases, they should be allowed to report on this case, which in turn, would also uphold their right under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India.
The petitioners, have thus prayed to the Hon’ble Court that “It ought to be considered that, if the Impugned Order is not set aside, it will set a bad example and work as a judicial precedent for other Courts and will thus, further amount to recurring grave injustice and illegalities.”