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Report No. 200

6. Insertion of sections 14A and 14B-

The following sections shall be inserted after section 14 of the Principal Act, namely -

14A. Orders of High Court for postponement of prejudicial publications by the media--(1) In any criminal proceedings which are active, the High Court may issue a general direction ex parte, whenever it appears to it to be necessary, that any matter the publication of which may cause real risk of serious prejudice to the cause of such proceeding or to the administration of justice in those proceedings or in any other criminal proceedings or any part of such proceeding, active or imminent, shall not be published by the media or any person for an initial period of seven days from the date of its order or that such matter shall be published subject to conditions and the High Court may direct publication of such an order.

(2) An order under subsection (1) may be passed by the High Court upon an application by

(a) the Advocate General or by a law officer referred to clause (c) of subsection (1) of section 15, or

(b) by a person who has been arrested or who being an accused in such criminal proceeding, a chargesheet or challan has been filed or summons or warrant has been issued by the Court against him, or

(c) by any person who is interested in the avoidance of the risk and prejudice referred to subsection (1).

(3) An order of postponement of publication, with or without conditions, passed under subsection (1), may be varied or cancelled by the High Court at the instance of the representatives of the media or by any other person interested in such variation or cancellation, by the filing of an application therefor in the High Court within the period of seven days referred to in subsection (1) or after the period of extension of such order as provided in subsection (4).

(4) If no application is filed for such variation or cancellation within the period of seven days as stated in subsection (2) or if filed, has not been modified within the said period of seven days, the order passed under subsection (1) shall stand extended beyond seven days unless varied or cancelled in an application filed within the seven days or filed after the seven days aforesaid.

Explanation: For the purposes of this section and section 14B, the High Court shall mean a Bench of the High Court of not less than two Judges.

14B. Action for criminal contempt for violation of an order passed under section 14A.-Where any person violates any order of postponement of publication or the conditions laid down in orders passed under section 14A, the High Court may initiate proceedings for criminal contempt in the High Court, in accordance with law and pass such order as to punishment as it may deem fit.

"7.Applicability of the Act.- The provisions of the Principal Act as amended by this Act shall apply to publications by any person in connection with a criminal proceeding which is active as stated in subsection (2) of section 3 of the principal Act or to criminal proceedings which are active or imminent as stated in section 14A of the principal Act."

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