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Don’t publish judge-lawyer arguments in cases: Press Council
Judge marks decision

Don’t publish judge-lawyer arguments in cases: Press Council

Dhaka, Sept 16 – Bangladesh Press Council has barred the media not to publish the arguments and discussion between judges and lawyers in the courtroom during the court proceedings of the cases.In a statement issued by the council yesterday said, “The media must refrain from publishing any comments or opinions, which might affect the verdict of sub-judice cases and hamper the image and dignity of the judges.”
During the court proceedings, the arguments between judges and lawyers are only the resources of courts and these are not publishable into the media, according to the statement.
However, the statement said that the actual picture of the ongoing cases can be published into the media. If there is any doubt arises, the media can only publish that information after verifying details from the relevant bench officer, registrar of the High Court and the Appellate Division, it added.
The journalists have to refrain from make those reports, which might hamper the image and dignity of the Supreme Court as well as the judges. Bangladesh Press Council requested all print media, electronic media and online media to follow the guideline with extreme caution, the statement noted.
Specially, the media outlets are requested to follow the article 16 of the code of conduct of 1993 (amended 2002), which formulated for journalists by the Bangladesh Press Council.
According to the code of conduct, it is the responsibility of the newspapers to publish news relating to case under trial and to publish the final judgment of the court to reveal the actual picture of issues relating to trial. But a journalist shall refrain from publishing such comment or opinion as is likely to influence an under-trial case, until the final verdict is announced.
The Bangladesh Press Council issued the notice in line with an order passed by a High Court bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice Mohammad Ali on the issue of judicial proceedings on August 7 following a writ petition, according to the statement.
Earlier, the Supreme Court has also issued a brief statement in an attempt to clarify its instructions issued earlier to restrain the media from reporting sub-judice cases.
Earlier on May 16 this year, the Supreme Court authorities issued a notice asking the media not to publish any sub-judice matter in newspapers and televisions.
“Recently, it has appeared that some electronic media in their TV channels and some print media in their newspapers were broadcasting or publishing the proceeding of sub-judice cases, which is unprecedented. Amidst this situation, after being directed all concerned are requested to refrain from publishing any sub-judice proceedings of the cases,” according to the SC statement.
However, the Supreme Court (SC) on May 21 issued another brief statement in an attempt to clarify its instructions issued earlier to restrain the media from reporting sub-judice cases.
“Bangladesh Supreme Court always believes in the freedom of the press. The publication of reports or broadcasts that tarnish the dignity of the court and influence the ongoing trials are not desirable,” according to the latest statement of the SC.
The SC issued the statement five days after Editors Guild, Bangladesh, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists, Law Reporters Forum and several other media organisations expressed their surprise over the instructions.—Staff Reporter

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