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CJI meets legal hacks, hints that may allow journos to live tweet from SC courtrooms in future

The CJI, now consulting with journalists bi-monthly for better court reporting
The CJI, now consulting with journalists bi-monthly for better court reporting

Chief Justice of India (CJI) _Dipak Misra_ on Monday hinted at possibly allowing journalists to publish news straight from courtrooms on Twitter from their mobile phones, live during case proceedings in the Supreme Court.

The CJI was addressing a bi-monthly meeting with accredited and non-accredited journalists in the Supreme Court, to “look into difficulties that [the journalists] face in court reporting” he said.

One reporter in the audience raised the issue to him that while Twitter accounts of “senior advocates” often carry live feeds of case proceedings, which they publish from inside the courtrooms, accredited journalists “are still not allowed the same privilege despite being qualified lawyers”.

The CJI replied: “Under the principle of article 14, if there are two sticks: one is 5cm [long] and one is 3cm, there are two ways to give equal treatment. First is to cut off 2cm from one stick...”

Before he could finish, journalists from the audience interrupted him, saying they would prefer “the second method”, at which point Misra added: “I am never a supporter of the first one.”

Lawyers are allowed to carry mobile phones inside the courtrooms whereas journalists technically are not, which slows the media down from reporting court proceedings, while advocates are easily able to provide a live account of proceedings on social networks such as Twitter (which the Delhi high court had recently constituted a consultation into, as reported by Medianama).

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