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Media Can’t Be Stopped From Reporting Court Observations, SC Tells Election Commission

New Delhi: The media cannot be stopped from reporting any court hearing, the Supreme Court told the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday.

The top court said this while hearing a complaint by the ECI against the Madras High Court’s observation that the poll watchdog was singularly responsible for the rise in COVID-19 cases.

“Media is a powerful watchdog in democracy. It cannot be stopped from reporting discussions in higher courts. Seeking relief such as media should not report on observations is too far-fetched,” the SC said, news agency PTI reported.

“We don’t want to demoralise HCs as they are vital pillars of the judiciary. Sometimes a free-flowing dialogue takes place in the court and judges make observations… You cannot control how judges will conduct proceedings,” it added.

On April 26, the Madras High Court had said the ECI “should probably be booked for murder” for not stopping political rallies for elections held in Tamil Nadu and other states amid the unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases.

Following this, the poll watchdog had moved the top court, saying the HC’s comment was “uncalled for, blatantly disparaging and derogatory”.