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SC gags media from reporting Hardik Patel case proceedings because sensitive

Proceedings ‘sensitive in nature’, please don’t report till it’s over, says SC
Proceedings ‘sensitive in nature’, please don’t report till it’s over, says SC

A Supreme Court bench comprising of justices JS Khehar and C Nagappan today (24 February) restrained the media from reporting the proceedings of the hearing of the SLP filed by the Patidar leader, Hardik Bharatbhai Patel against the dismissal of his bail petition by the Gujarat High Court and seeking quashing of FIR lodged against him.

The judges said:

At the commencement of hearing, we required the media notto report the proceedings of this case, which are sensitive innature. We are recording the same in our order and herebyaffirming our direction that the media (electronic as well asprint) shall not report the proceedings of this case till the finaldecision.

A chargesheet has already been filed against Patel and his bail petition is pending before the sessions court in Gujarat.

Hardik Patel, who is currently lodged in Surat jail, has been charged with sedition in the context of his agitation demanding reservations for Patel community in Gujarat.

During the brief hearing of the case on Wednesday, 24 February, as reported by the PTI and others, the bench had expressed its concern over the damage to public property during agitations, saying the country cannot be held to ransom and that it would lay down parameters for fixing accountability for the losses.

Today, when the case came up as item No.1 before the same court, it was brought to the court’s knowledge that another three-judge bench has already dealt with the matter of damage to public properties during agitations in 2009, and therefore, this matter too should be placed before a bench of three Judges.

The 2009 judgment can be read here.

The bench accordingly directed the registry to seek instructions from the CJI for listing this case before a three-Judge bench.

Readers can read today’s apex court order here, and the Gujarat High Court’s judgment, which has been appealed against, here .

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