The Bombay High Court on Wednesday dismissed a CBI judge’s earlier order banning the media from reporting on the proceedings in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh’s alleged fake encounter case.
Setting aside the CBI judge’s order, Justice Revati Mohite Dere said that public had a right to know what was happening in this case. The judge, according to report by Indian Express, also referred to freedom of speech and expression, adding that the said article entailed freedom of the press.
Days after reports had emerged raising suspicion on the death of the former CBI judge BH Loya, the special CBI court in Mumbai had issued a media gag on the ongoing trial in the fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati.
Special judge Sunilkumar J Sharma, had said, “It may happen that publication (of reports) may create security problem for the accused persons, prosecution witnesses, defence team and the prosecution as well. I, therefore, find justification in the request of the defence team of lawyers.”
Journalists in Mumbai had moved the Bombay High Court challenging the order gagging the media from reporting the trial of retired and serving police officials accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh’s alleged fake encounter case.
The journalists’ petition had 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. 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.”