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Report No. 93

1.4. The move for reform.-

The present position in this regard, as already stated,1 is that there is no such privilege except in countries where it is conferred specifically by statute. The position has been modified in certain countries, though not in India. However, even in countries where such a reform has been mooted, legislation in this direction has been rather slow. Thus, in a case that arose before the English court of Appeal,2 Lord Justice Scarman (as he then was), speaking in the context of an application for the production under summons of an unpublished television film, observed that "while the law offered the press and the broadcasting authorities some protection against oppressive application it was arguable that more protection was needed."

He expressed the view that this was a problem for law reform. However, no such reform was, until very recently, effected in England.3 In fact, it may be mentioned that a journalist in England who refused to reveal his sources of information when ordered to do so by a judge was proceeded against for contempt of court. Fortunately, it was found in this case that the answer to the question was not relevant and necessary to the issue before the Court. The journalist was, therefore, held to be not guilty.4

1. Para. 1.2, supra.

2. Souier v. Haldguarh, (1975) 2 All ER 1009 (1022).

3. For the present English Law, see Chapter 4, infra.

4. Attorney-General v. Indian, The Times, Pub. 20, 1982.



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