Centre for Communication Governance at NLU delhi
Indian Case Law

Ramji Lal Modi V. State of U.P., AIR 1957 SC 620

The Court held that the expression “in the interests of” occurring in Article 19(2) had a wide ambit and a law not directly designed to maintain public order would well be within its protection if the activities it penalized had a “tendency” to cause public disorder.

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Naresh Mirajkar v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1967 SC 1 (Supreme Court of India) [Open Access]

In this case, the Court affirmed the inherent powers of the High Court to direct the testimony of a witness in a particular case to be postponed from being reported. In particular, postponement of publication was expressly held not to violate the freedom of speech and expression as it was only the incidental effect of a judicial order. 

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State of Punjab v. Gurmit Singh, AIR 1996 SC 1393(Supreme Court of India) [Open Access]

This case involved an appeal from a rape trial. The Court laid down guidelines for the protection of the victim’s privacy and directed that the provisions of s. 327(2) and (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, mandating in-camera trials for sexual offences, be observed scrupulously. The Court also directed that the names of rape victims be redacted from court orders to protect their privacy.

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Sahara India v. SEBI, (2012) 10 SCC 603 (Supreme Court of India) [Open Access]

This case involved an interlocutory application that was filed by the respondents before the court seeking appropriate directions with regard to reporting of matters (in electronic and print media) which were sub judice. The Court, after hearing both parties as well as several interveners, passed a judgment laying down guidelines permitting postponement of reporting of proceedings.

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Vijay Singhal v. NCT of Delhi (Delhi High Court) (2013) [Open Access]

The case involved a challenge to an order of a trial court invoking the provisions of s. 327(2) and (3), Cr.P.C. and directing that the trial of the case at hand (involving sexual assault) be held in-camera with a bar on media attending the proceedings. The High Court examined the circumstances in which the media could be permitted to report such proceedings, and the balance between the two competing rights of the public to know and have access to Court trials as against right of the victim’s family and that of the accused to confidentiality. The Court eventually permitted the media to report the proceedings, with some restrictions.

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