Media barred from courts; Kerala CM warns lawyers

Media barred from courts; Kerala CM warns lawyers

Kochi, Oct 15 (IANS) With lawyers still keeping the media away from the courts in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday issued a stern warning, asking them to behave or face tough action.

Inaugurating the annual conference of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists here, Vijayan said: “The courts are not the personal property of lawyers and they should not be under the wrong impression that they have the same powers as that of the judges.”

The media should be allowed to do its job, he said, adding that if the present situation continues, “the government will play its role”.

“Lawyers can’t decide who all should enter the court and who all should not,” the Chief Minister said.

Since July 19, there has been virtually a ban on the media by the lawyers in several courts in the state, including the high court.

On Friday, things took a turn for the worse when even two female journalists had to face the ire of lawyers, who abused them, and male journalists were roughed up by the lawyers inside a court in the state capital.

Police on Saturday registered a case against 10 lawyers, who were identified for misbehaving with the journalists yesterday.

In a bid to resolve the rift between the media and the lawyers in the state, there has been an intervention even by the Supreme Court.

Last week, Vijayan and Kerala High Court Chief Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar met to discuss the issue and decided that things will not be allowed to drift and the impasse would be resolved at the earliest.

However, the situation failed to look up, forcing Vijayan to talk tough against the lawyers.

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