Kochi | Kerala High Court Advocates’ Association has suspended the membership of former Lok Sabha MP and media analyst Dr Sebastian Paul for allegedly criticising the stand taken by certain judges on the issue of tussle between lawyers and media persons in the state.
Citing a speech made by Paul in Kozhikode last week on the issue, Kerala High Court Advocates Association alleged that Paul, a practising lawyer, continuously made “defamatory comments against the judicial system and legal fraternity.” “You are already facing disciplinary proceedings and again continuously making contemptuous statements defaming the judicial system and legal fraternity with an ulterior motive to have an unlawful gain from the media,” the association said in its notice issued to Paul.
Reacting to the suspension, Paul said such action further reveals that Kerala High Court Advocates’ Association, which cherishes a golden past, has failed to touch the core of the issue between the advocates and media in courts in the state.
aul had been raising issue of freedom of press in all possible avenues eversince media was targeted by a section of lawyers in Kerala High Court and other courts in the state following reporting of a molestation case allegedly involving a government pleader.
Media persons have not been allowed to report court proceedings since July after some advocates had attacked them outside the Kerala High Court complex and warned against covering the proceedings there.
The Advocates Association’s move came a day after five advocates were arrested in connection with a case relating to threatening and dragging of journalists who had gone to cover legal proceedings at a Vigilance Court in Thiruvananthapuram on October 14.
They were later released on bail.