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Vijay Singhal & Ors. vs Govt. Of Nct Of Delhi & Anr. on 22 March, 2013
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WP(C) 195/2013 Page 10 of 38 under Section 376(2)(g) and Section 377 of the IPC. In respect of this proposition reliance was placed on two judgments of the Supreme Court: State of Punjab vs Gurmit Singh (1996) 2 SCC 384 and Sakshi vs Union of India and Ors. 2004 (5) SCC 518. In addition, reference is also made to the 84th report of the Law Commission pursuant to which Sub Sections (2) & (3) were incorporated in Section 327 of the Cr.P.C. in addition to, the insertion of Section 228A in the IPC; (iii) To emphasise the point, that the in camera trial was mandatory while trying cases pertaining to sexual offences, reliance was placed on the directions passed

Supreme Court in Sakshi's case, whereby it is now declared that the provisions of Section 327(2) of the Cr.P.C. would, in addition, apply even in respect of an inquiry and/or trial of offences under Section 354 and 377 of IPC. (iv) The right of the media to report Court proceedings is not an absolute right, which is why, Sub Section (3) of Section 327 of Cr.P.C. makes it unlawful for any person to print or publish any matter in relation to proceedings where section 327(2) has been triggered. (v) Since the Petitioners have not challenged the constitutional vires of Section 327(2) of Cr.P.C., the Petitioners are required by law to comply with the orders passed by the Court below. This argument was sought to be supported, once again, by relying upon extracts from the 84th report of the Law Commission. (vi) The object of a trial is to meet the ends of justice, and if, in order to achieve that end there is a competition, in a manner of speaking, between the right to a free trial as against the right to freedom of expression, the former would trump

2013 Page 11 of 38 the judgments of the Supreme Court in Mirajkar's case and the Sahara's case. (vii) The judge, presiding over the trial, has the power under Section 327 of the Cr.P.C. to regulate access in any given case depending on the circumstances and atmosphere prevailing in the Court. This right is vested in the presiding Judge or Magistrate statutorily by the proviso to Sub Section (1) of Section 327 of the Cr.P.C. The fact that the presiding judge has discretion even in circumstances where order is passed, under Sub Section (2) of Section 327 of the Cr.P.C., is apparent on a reading of the first proviso to Section 327(2) and the proviso to Section 327(3) of the Cr.P.C. This discretion would naturally be exercised in the light of facts and circumstances obtaining in each case. The Courts below have taken the necessary circumstances into account, while passing orders under Section 327(2) of the Cr.P.C. (viii) The media had been repeatedly cautioned against excessive publicity, in cases where it has led to interference in administration of justice. Reliance in this regard was placed

Order 32A Rule (2) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (in short CPC); Section 22 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955; Section 43 of the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936; Section 33 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954; Section 11 of the Family Courts Act, 1984; Section 16 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005; Section 22 (eeee) of the Mental Health Act, 1987; Section 237(2) of the Cr.P.C. in respect of prosecution of defamation under Section 199(2) of the Cr.P.C.; Section 265B(4) in a case involving plea bargaining; Section 17 of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008; Section 36AJ of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949; Section 52 M of the Insurance Act, 1938; Section 17 of the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, 1959. Reference was also placed to statutes of other nations as well as international covenants and treaties to emphasise the point that exclusion of media in order to ensure fair trial was not peculiar to India. Reliance in this behalf was placed on the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 1992; Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act, 1999; Sexual Offences Act, 2003 which amended Section