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Lawyers again prevent media from covering case

Wednesday, Nov 2, 2016,18:16 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kochi | In yet another incident of lawyers obstructing news coverage, a group of advocates at a sessions court here prevented journalists from reporting the commencement of trial of the murder case of Jisha.

Five journalists were present in the Court hall when the lawyers came and asked them to leave, said a journalist, who was assigned to cover the proceedings.

Three of the five journalists were women.

The incident occurred a day after the Regional Committee of Indian Newspaper Society and Kerala Television Federation wrote an open letter to Chief Justice of India T S Thakur, making an appeal to him to resolve the stand-off between mediapersons and lawyers in the state.

The CJI and three senior Supreme Court judges, including Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice J Chelameswar and Justice Ashok Bhushan had visited Kochi yesterday to attend the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Kerala High Court and inauguration of a district sessions court complex.

The incident at the Principal Sessions Court began when a woman journalist who arrived early at the court hall and occupied a seat designated to commoners.

Seeing her at the seat, a section of male lawyers approached her and asked her to leave the place.

When she refused, they said “you have no right to sit in the court room”, forcing her to leave the seat.

The lawyers became more agitated when they saw journalists at the Court hall in the afternoon to cover commencement of trial of the murder case of the Dalit woman.

Police and court officials intervened after mediapersons refused to yield to the demand of some lawyers to leave.

The journalists said the lawyers had told them that they cannot carry out their professional duties at the court hall.

They later left the court hall following a request by a senior court officer.

Recently, journalists at a court in Thiruvananthapuram to report the proceedings, including the Vigilance case against Industries Minister E P Jayarajan, were allegedly threatened, beaten up and sent out of the court by lawyers.

Journalists are not being allowed to cover proceeding of the high court and other courts in Kerala since July 19 after a group of lawyers chased them away, angered over a media report about a Government Pleader allegedly misbehaving with a woman on a crowded street in Kochi.

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