The Supreme Court today said that there can be no blanket guideline to regulate media reporting of sub-judice matters, but added that restrictions could be sought in specific cases.
"No guidelines can be framed across the board to regulate media reporting of sub-judice matters," a constitution bench of the top court, headed by the Chief Justice SH Kapadia, observed.
It however added that "apprehending prejudice, any aggrieved person can move a competent court seeking to restrain the media from reporting the proceedings in his/her case.".
The bench also observed today that freedom of speech and expression is "not an absolute" and remarked that journalists "should know the lakshman rekha so that they don't cross the line of contempt."
Justice Kapadia also clarified that the postponement will be for a short period of time and will not affect the trial. The doctrine, he added, has been evolved as a "preventive measure" for "administration of justice and fairness of trial" and not as a prohibitive and punitive measure.
While stating that only the Supreme Court and the High Courts will have the right to order postponement of news publication, the bench observed that the "courts will decide on postponement on the basis of twin tests of necessity and proportionality."
(With IANS Inputs)