While hearing a bunch of petitions against an agent, Bombay High Court observed that the press exists for a reason and it has a purpose which it serves. The agent was accused of committing financial irregularities on the National Stock Exchange.
The observation was made by a single judge bench of Justice Gautam Patel after one of the parties submitted the material in a sealed cover apprehending that it may reach the press. Justice Patel refused to record any material which is presented in a sealed cover.
“At least in my court, there will never be a question of anything being done in sealed cover. Anything that I can see, all parties before meare entitled to see. That is all there is to it. This is the only method that I know of to ensure open and transparent decision-making,” said the court.
Advocate Rohan Cama who was appearing for the above party submitted that there was apprehension, and the sealed cover contained sensitive information that might find a way to the press.
“The press exists for a reason. It has a purpose, one that it serves. I cannot and will not curtail the rights of the free press at the instance of this or that part. I refuse to proceed on the basis that the press is always irresponsible. There will be no gag orders here,” Justice Patel said.
The court, thereafter directed the party to submit the material on an affidavit in a clean and legible manner or face the consequences. The matter will be heard again on October 5.