Law firm ought not to run blogs/websites on sub-judice matters: Delhi HC pulls up law firm for incorrect reporting
Delhi High Court has observed that a law firm must not run a website/ blog to report a case which is sub-judice.
Court, vide order dated June 1, directed that a firm ought not to do this as there is every likelihood of losing objectivity in reportage of such proceedings.
A Division bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Talwant Singh, while acceding to the request of counsel for the petitioner, passed such a direction to ALA Legal, noting,
“Any slant in the reporting, which is not in line with the orders of the Court, leads to multifarious problems including the embarrassment that counsels appearing in the matter may encounter vis-a-vis their respective principals.”
The ASGI pointed out that incorrect reporting had been projected in a blog of an order passed in the present case.
The blog titled “A Summer of Relief for Taxpayers” was published on the website of “gstlawindia”, administered by ALA Legal, which directly concerned the present proceedings.
Request was made to remove the same and an unconditional apology was directed to be extended to Learned ASG, Mr. Venkatraman, representing the Union.
Recording the submissions of the learned counsel, Court said, “We have also indicated to Mr. Aggarwal that ALA Legal cannot, and ought not, run the website/blog, in respect of the proceedings, which are being prosecuted by it, as there is every likelihood of losing objectivity in the reportage of proceedings; as was the case, in the instant matter.”
The matter relates to extension of compliance dates under the Income Tax Act and other financial/labour laws, in the wake of COVID 19 pandemic.
It alternatively prays for waiver of interest/penalty for non-compliance.
Senior Advocate Arvind P. Datar has been appointed as the Amicus Curiae in the said matter.
Next hearing is listed on July 22, 2021.
Case Title: Society of Tax Analysis and Research v. Union of India