Friday, March 06, 2015

Two on 'sub judice'

On of the reasons given by the Indian Govt. to ban "India's dauhter" is that the case still sub judice. I looked the term. It seems mainly derived from the English practice ( it seems different in USA). From Sub judice  rule and contempt of court:
"This guide is based on UK law and was written in January 2009.....The sub judice rule regulates the publication of matters which are under consideration by the court. Matters are considered to be sub judice (Latin for 'under judgment') once legal proceedings become active.....
Both statutory and common law contempt of court are concerned with the possibility that a juror, witness or lay judge may be influenced by material which is published about active legal proceedings. Accordingly, any of the following activities could be considered to be contempt:
  • obtaining or publishing details of jury deliberations;
  • filming or recording within court buildings;
  • making payments to witnesses;
  • publishing information obtained from confidential court documents;
  • reporting on the defendant's previous convictions;
  • mounting an organized campaign to influence proceedings;
  • reporting on court proceedings in breach of a court order or reporting restriction;
  • breaching an injunction obtained against another party;
  • anticipating the course of a trial or predicting the outcome; or
  • revealing the identity of child defendants, witnesses or victims or victims of sexual offences.
However, it is acceptable to publish material as part of a discussion of public affairs or as a contemporary report of the day's legal proceedings."
The Indian version as reported in The Hoot seems a bit vague to me:
"3.      Can I interview possible witnesses and quote documents that are before the court while an issue is sub-judice?
Answer: Yes, at present there is no clear legal bar to journalists interviewing possible witnesses and quoting documents in a case which is sub-judice, however as per the Law Commission such acts may amount to interfering in the administration of justice and may amount to Contempt of Court.
Effect: Reporters, at present may interview possible witnesses and quote documents when the case is sub-judice however even in the absence of a clear bar, they risk being tried for contempt of court for prejudicing or interfering with the administration of justice."

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