The Supreme Court administration yesterday said making and publishing reports, for which the court’s image and dignity become tarnished and the trial proceedings are influenced, is not expected.
It said this in a notice issued to clarify its May 16 notification that had requested print and electronic media to refrain from reporting on ongoing cases at the court.
Yesterday’s notice said, “The Bangladesh Supreme Court always believes in the freedom of the press.”
The notice signed by SC Registrar General Md Zakir Hossain yesterday said, “In this situation, the notification issued on May 16 has been clarified and all concerned have been conveyed.”
On May 16, Md Golam Rabbani, registrar of the SC’s High Court Division, issued a notice saying, “It has been noticed recently that some electronic and print media are giving scrolls or publishing news on ongoing cases, which is absolutely unexpected.
“Under the circumstances, it is being requested, upon orders, that all concerned refrain from publishing news or put up scrolls about ongoing cases,” the notice had read.
Soon after the notice was issued, Law Reporters Forum, a platform of reporters who cover law, human rights, and constitutional issues, had said they were saddened and shocked by the notice.
Editors Guild, Bangladesh, had also urged the SC Secretariat to clarify its instructions to the media.
On May 19, Law Minister Anisul Huq, however, told reporters at his secretariat office that there was no bar to reporting on ongoing cases but reporters cannot give personal opinions about the cases.
“In my opinion, the notice issued by the Supreme Court authorities on May 16 has not given any directive to stop reporting on ongoing cases. If you [reporters] come up with opinions about the ongoing cases, that will be a media trial and therefore, the learned judges concerned might feel pressured,” he said.