The Division Bench comprising of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Talwant Singh directed that a “Law firm 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.”
The Bench delivered the order while considering the petition by the Society for Tax Analysis and Research. The Court observed that reporting of the proceedings and any slant in the same may lead to multifarious problems which might affect the proceedings and the respective counsels.
The matter arose when a petition was filed requesting the Court to direct the Central Government to extend various tax due dates, simultaneously an article (A Summer of Relief for Taxpayers) on the proceedings was published on the blog of ALA legal Advocates & Solicitors, which is the firm prosecuting the case.
Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman raised issue on the same, highlighting that the proceedings were incorrectly reported in the blog.
The Court agreeing with the ASG, restrained the law firm to report ongoing proceedings as there is possibility of lack of objectivity and partiality in the reporting.
Advocate Puneet Aggarwal, appearing on behalf of the petitioner offered to tender an unconditional apology to the court and submitted that the blog would be removed.