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Journalists to be allowed inside courtrooms during physical proceedings: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has allowed journalists to be present inside the courtroom while physical proceedings are underway.

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Journalists to be allowed inside courtrooms during physical proceedings: Supreme Court
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Implementing a new rule, the Supreme Court has allowed journalists to be present inside the courtroom to witness the proceedings to be conducted in physical mode inside the apex court. The journalists inside the courtroom will have to adhere to the standard COVID-19 guidelines, as per the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court had also issued a revised set of SOPs earlier allowing physical proceedings. The SOPs stated that from October 20, all the matters listed on Wednesdays and Thursdays would be heard in the presence of lawyers and litigation inside the courtrooms physically itself.

In an official release, the Supreme Court said, “With the physical hearing in the Supreme Court of India commencing tomorrow (Thursday, 21 October 2021), it has been decided to allow the media persons, subject to usual COVID restrictions, into the courtrooms for covering the proceedings.”

The release by the apex court further mentioned that the media persons present for proceedings are being expected to self-regulate and follow all the necessary COVID precautions as there is limited space inside a courtroom and one must follow social distancing rules.

The court stated that journalists can even consider issuing a roster among themselves for appearing in the court physically so that at the end of the day, they can share the courtroom’s notes with each other for the proceedings that took place that specific day.

“This advisory is issued with the purpose of keeping all the stakeholders safe by way of adhering to COVID appropriate behavior,” the court said, as per media reports.

Ever since the pandemic hit the country last year in March, the Supreme Court has been hearing cases through video conferencing. Over the course of several months, lawyers and bar bodies have been asking the court to resume physical hearings inside the courtrooms.

(With agency inputs)

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