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‘Law firms cannot report ongoing proceedings’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 10, 2021

Delhi High Court says there is every risk of objectivity being lost in such reportage

The Delhi High Court has said that a law firm should not report on social media ongoing proceedings of a case which it is prosecuting.

In an order last week, a division bench comprising Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Talwant Singh told the petitioners, ALA Legal Advocates and Solicitors, that they cannot run a website/blog relating to proceedings which they are prosecuting because there is every likelihood of objectivity being lost in such reportage, said the judges.

The order came on a matter concerning a petition to direct the Centre to extend various tax due dates. While the matter was ongoing, the petitioners published a blog titled “A Summer of Relief for Taxpayers” on a website administered by the law firm. Appearing for the Union of India,

Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman informed the Court that the proceedings on May 25 had been incorrectly reported in the petitioners’ blog.

‘Remove report’

“Puneet Aggarwal, who appears on behalf of the petitioners, in W.P.(C) 5177/2021, says that the disconcerting blog, titled A Summer of Relief for Taxpayers, published on https://gstlawindia.in, administered by ALA Legal Advocates & Solicitors concerning the proceedings, will be removed, and an unconditional apology will be tendered to the Court as also to Mr. Venkatraman, the learned ASG,” noted the judges.

‘Slant in reporting’

“We have also indicated to 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. 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 judges said.

Published on June 09, 2021

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