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The Madras High Court while upholding Magistrate's order rejecting remand of Nakkeeran Gopal, observed that there was nothing wrong in calling upon senior journalist N Ram to get his opinion.
During the hearing of Nakkeeran case, the Magistrate had called upon senior journalist and former editor-in-chief of The Hindu N Ram, who was standing in the middle of advocates and others in the court, to give his opinion as to whether the provision under Section 124 of IPC was applied against any publication in the past. His submissions were recorded by the Magistrate in the order
Prosecutor, submitted before the high court that Magistrate was influenced by inessential
deliberations while considering the remand of the accused. He resisted that N
Ram did not have the capacity to make his submissions before the court and he
was a rank outsider A Ramesh as the present proceedings are concerned.
Justice Anand Venkatesh had observed in
November that court proceedings should revolve around law and facts of the case
tasking the magistrate to file a report on why and under what provisions of law he allowed, N Ram to make submissions in the case.
The Magistrate S Gopinathan in his report to the Madras HC detailed that he was under the bonafide consciousness that he is authorised to call for such opinion according to the of provisions available under Section 32 of the Advocates Act, 1961 and Rule 69 of the Criminal Rules of practice.
By taking consideration of the Magistrate’s
report and also referring to Section 32 of the Advocates Act Justice N Anand
that “The court has the power to permit any person not enrolled as an advocate
to put forth his submissions before a court whenever called for by the court.”
Justice Venkatesh further added that “It is clear from the judgment of the Apex Court that with the prior permission of the court, the magistrate can permit any person to speak in the court. In this case, the court was dealing with a very peculiar case where a publication had been made a subject matter of an offence under Section 124 of the IPC, which is unprecedented and which came up for the first time before the court,”
Therefore, the Magistrate wanted to get the stances of a Senior journalist as to whether there are any such cases in the past.
N Ram gave response to this uncertainty by touching upon the freedom of the press, adding that the court did not find anything wrong with the procedure adopted by the magistrate and the submissions made by Ram.Tagged: N Ram Madras High Court Justice Anand Venkatesh Nakkeeran Gopal The Hindu Apex Court Advocates Act 1961 Criminal Rules of practice IPC