Media Debating Pending Cases "Damaging": Attorney General To Top Court

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 Attorney General To Top Court

The Supreme Court has sought Attorney General KK Venugopal's help to look into comments against judges.

New Delhi:

Television and print media discussions of matters pending before the court influence judges' thinking and do great damage to the judicial institution, Attorney General KK Venugopal said today.

The issue has assumed menacing proportions today, he noted.

"When a bail application comes up for hearing, TV flashes conversations between the accused and someone, and that is damaging to the accused and comes up during the bail hearing," Mr Venugopal said before a bench of the Supreme Court. "This is contempt of court."

Mr Venugopal was today giving his views before the bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, BR Gavai, and Krishna Murari, and appeared in his private capacity and not as Attorney General.

The bench is considering issues such the procedure to express grievance against a judge and under what circumstances. It is also looking into the extent to which a sub judice matter may be discussed in the media.

The Supreme Court had sought Mr Venugopal's help on these matters.

It took them up today in the context of examining if lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan's controversial remarks in 2009 against three former Chief Justices of India amounted to contempt. He had passed the remarks in an interview with Tehelka magazine.

The court had on August 10 refused to accept a "regret" and explanation from him and said it will examine if Mr Bhushan's statements amounted to contempt prima facie. It will now take up the case on November 4.

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