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Nine journalists move Bombay HC challenging gag order in Sohrabuddin case

27-December-2017
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Nine journalists move Bombay HC challenging gag order in Sohrabuddin case

Journalists from various news organisations moved the Bombay High Court on Tuesday against a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court order last month, which barred the media from reporting on the trial of retired and serving police officials in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.

The writ petition has been filed by nine legal reporters from The Free Press Journal, The Wire, Scroll.in, The Times of India, Mumbai Mirror and The Indian Express.

The petitioners have asked the court to revoke the CBI court’s order as it was “illegal and not tenable in law”. The petition further said that it was posing as a “major road block” for them in carrying out their duties.

The court does not have the power to gag the press from reporting trial proceedings not held in camera, the petition also said.

"The trial court ought to have considered that the case involves an element of public interest and our populace, therefore, has the right to know what transpires in the trial,” it said, highlighting that “the accused persons, almost all of whom are former police officers are standing trial on the charges that they engaged in fake encounter killings in and around Gujarat."

A special CBI court in Mumbai which was hearing the case, on November 2017, had barred the media from reporting on the proceedings of the case until further notice.

The Bombay High Court will hear the petition on January 12.

The nine journalists who have moved the court are Sunil Baghel, Neeta Kolhatkar, Sadaf Modak, Vidya Kumar, Rebecca Samervel, Naresh Farnandes, Sidharth Bhatia, Sharmeen Hakim and Sunil Kumar Singh.

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