The Kerala High Court on Thursday evening set down strict norms for journalists reporting on High Court proceedings. A full court approved the norms which restricts the entry to High Court premises only to law graduates.
The move is being looked at as a fallout of the clashes between journalists and lawyers in Kerala on multiple occasions. Time and again journalists have been asked to leave court while reporting on the proceedings. The issue is now at the doorstep of the Supreme Court.
The new norms issued by the registrar nemeral of the high court says that only a journalist with a law degree will be given an accreditation card to report on court proceedings. While a permanant accreditation requires a journalist to not only possess a law degree but also experience of court-reporting for a continuous period of 5 years. While the norm has provision for temporary accreditation it also comes with a rider of law degree and 2 years of court reporting.
Journalists in Kerala who have time and again been intimidated at courts feel that this move is a fallout of the clashes they have had with advocates. Parties on both sides have been injured severely in these clashes.
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The Ernakulam bar council in its November 4 resolution had demanded that accreditation be given only to law graduates to report on High Court proceedings. The resolution had also demanded that all other journalists be kept off court premises and the High Court's decision on Thursday seems to reflect just that.
Jounalists in Kerala are keen on challenging this decision of the High court shortly.