Do not repeat incidents hurting freedom of press: HC to CJM in Salim Raj case

Monday, Jun 8, 2015,20:52 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kochi | Intervening in an issue of a local court stopping the media from reporting an open court proceedings here, the Kerala High Court administration today asked the Chief Judicial Magistrate not to repeat incidents hurting the freedom of the press.
The judge, while considering the bail application of an accused in the Kalamassery land grab case this morning, asked media persons to leave the court.
Noting that the media is not barred from covering open court proceedings, High Court Judge Justice K T Sankaran, who holds charge of courts in Ernakulam district, directed the Registrar to inform the magistrate of the displeasure of the High Court administration on the issue.
Official sources said the Registrar informed the Chief Judicial Magistrate considering the CBI cases that her action was wrong and directed her not to repeat such incidents.
Justice Sankaran’s directive to the Registrar came soon after senior media persons complained to him about the Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate’s action.
The case pertains to the June 3 arrest of Salim Raj, controversial former gunman of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and nine others by CBI in two land-grabbing cases involving properties worth more than Rs 425 crore.
The properties allegedly grabbed were in Kadakampally in the state capital and Kalamassery in Kochi.
CBI’s case was that the accused, including revenue officials, had conspired and manipulated government records and prepared false reports, resulting in cancellation of some documents of land in Kalamassery worth approximately Rs 25 crore owned by A K Nazar, a complainant and others, thus alienating the genuine ownership over the land.