Journalists Challenge Order Gagging Media In Sohrabuddin ‘Encounter’ Case

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Nine journalists filed a petition in Bombay High Court on Tuesday. — File photo

A trial court had on November 29 this year on an application by the accused persons passed an order prohibiting the media from publishing or printing or telecasting information pertaining to the trial proceedings.

MUMBAI (PTI) — Journalists from some media houses on Tuesday petitioned the Bombay High Court challenging a sessions court order gagging the media from reporting the trial of retired and serving police officials accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.

The trial court had on November 29 this year on an application by the accused persons passed an order prohibiting the media from publishing or printing or telecasting information pertaining to the trial proceedings.

Nine legal reporters from national dailies and news channels have filed the petition in the High Court challenging the order and said it was “illegal and not tenable in law”.

The petition claims that the ban order has become a major road block and obstacle for the reporters in discharging their duties.

“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.

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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,” the petition said.

The petition is likely to be heard in January 2018.

A total of 23 accused are facing trial for their involvement in the alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kausar Bi and their associate Tulsidas Prajapati in Gujarat in November 2005.

The case was later transferred to the CBI for investigations and the trial was shifted to Mumbai

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