News Report

Kerala High Court protects journalist’s phone rights

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to “”Legal Insights,”” the show where we explore the latest legal developments and discuss their impact on society. I’m your host, Sorabh George, and today we have a fascinating topic to delve into. In the digital age, our smartphones have become extensions of ourselves, storing our personal information, confidential conversations, and professional work. In a significant verdict, the Kerala High Court recently addressed the issue of a journalist’s mobile phone being seized by the police during an investigation. The court’s ruling sheds light on the importance of protecting journalistic privileges while respecting legal procedures. Let me explain the entire thing step by step. An appeal was filed by the journalist G. Vishakan, stating that the police officials raided his house on July 3 and searched his entire house, and he was questioned about Shajan Skaria. And The journalist was called to the police station, where his phone was seized. Shajan Skaria is the editor of Malayali YouTube news channel, who made alleged derogatory remarks against MLA PV Sreenijin. MLA PV Sreenijin filed a case against Shajan Skaria under the SC/ST Act. Senior Advocate V Giri, representing Sreenijin, emphasized that Skaria used severely insulting statements against Sreenijin, calling him a “”mafia don””, “”black money dealer””, murderer,”” etc. Coming back to our topic, The Kerala High Court observed that seizing a journalist’s mobile phone should not be done lightly, as it could jeopardize the confidentiality of sources and compromise the free flow of information. The seizure must adhere to the procedures outlined in the Code of Criminal Procedure and be based on reasonable grounds. The court stressed that the police must obtain a warrant from a competent authority before seizing a journalist’s phone, except in exceptional circumstances where time is of the essence. This landmark judgment is likely to have far-reaching implications and may lead to the formulation of specific guidelines to govern the seizure of a journalist’s mobile phone. Such guidelines would provide clarity and ensure that journalistic freedom and the confidentiality of sources are safeguarded, while enabling the police to carry out their legitimate investigative duties. Ending: The next hearing for the case is on July 21. That’s all on the topic. Be sure to tune in to “”HW News English”” to be updated on the case and all the latest legal developments. Thank you for joining us!

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