Making the powerful accountable

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It is odd indeed that the Delhi High Court seems to believe that sensational media coverage can sway the Supreme Court into prejudice against one of its own retired judges. Justice Manmohan Singh of the Delhi High Court has said inSwatanter Kumar v. Indian Express and Others, that the pervasive sensational media coverage of the sexual harassment allegations against the retired Supreme Court judge “may also result in creating an atmosphere in the form of public opinion wherein a person may not be able to put forward his defence properly and his likelihood of getting fair trial would be seriously impaired.” This Delhi High Court judgment has drawn upon the controversial 2011 Supreme Court judgment in Sahara India Real Estate Corp. Ltd v. SEBI (referred to as the Gag Order case in this piece), to prohibit the media from publishing headlines connecting retired Justice Swatanter Kumar with the intern’s allegations and from publishing his photograph in connection with the allegations.

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