The Kerala government today said any “hindrance” to free and fearless media activities will not be allowed, days after media personnel were prevented by a section of lawyers from covering the High Court proceedings.
Taking a tough stand on the continued action by a section of lawyers preventing legal reporters from covering courts, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “Media personnel have the freedom to go to courts for covering legal proceedings and this cannot be obstructed. It will not be accepted.”
“Any action that creates obstruction for free and fearless media activities cannot be allowed,” he said in a statement after a meeting with editors of various media organisations here.
The meeting was called against the background of a section of lawyers preventing media persons from covering the High Court in Kochi recently.
The lawyers should understand that their behaviour was “inappropriate” and they should stop indulging in such actions, Vijayan said.
The continuing media-lawyers standoff was affecting the state’s reputation and will catch the attention of the national and international communities, he said.
“It will not be good for the state to be known as a place where there is no freedom of expression,” he said.
Representatives of media organisations led by Mathrubhumi Managing Editor P V Chandran, Malayala Manorama Editorial Director Thomas Jacob and Asianet News channel chief editor M G Radhakrishnan were among those who met the Chief Minister.
Since July, media personnel are not being allowed to cover courts in the state after they were attacked by advocates outside the High Court complex and threatened.
Governor P Sathasivam, former Chief Justice of India, had also appealed to the two fraternities to settle their differences amicably through dialogue.