MUMBAI: Journalists covering the proceedings of the Bombay High Court staged a walk out after the chief justice on Wednesday pulled up a male reporter for wearing jeans.
Senior legal reporters tweeted their discontent over what may be termed as a new form of moral policing. A senior reporter from a national newspaper who witnessed the walkout, said that the chief justice noticed a male reporter’s clothes and asked if it was “Bombay culture to wear jeans and T-shirts and come to cover the court proceedings.” About ten television and print journalists were present in the courtroom when the comments were made.
The judge is believed to have added that reporters need to maintain decorum.
The incident took place while CJ Manjula Chellur and Justice GS Kulkarni were hearing the matter of the doctors’ strike in Maharashtra.
Chellur had recently faced social media’s ire after she compared the striking doctors to factory workers.
The association of reporters who cover the proceedings of the High Court is considering writing to the chief justice of the Supreme Court about the incident.
In a similar incident, in 2015, a media professional was prevented from entering the court allegedly because she was wearing a sleeveless top. Reportedly, a notification passed by the court in 2011, which stated that people dressed indecently should not be allowed inside, was cited in support of the action back then.
Meanwhile, in yet another incident, a journalist from a national daily was threatened by a political leader for asking ‘uncomfortable’ questions at a press conference. “City youth Congress leader Ramashray Chauhan threatened senior journalist Vinod Yadav with life at a press conference on Tuesday,” Mumbai Press Club said in its press release, while condemning the attack.
“Yadav’s only ‘crime’ was that he asked the national youth Congress leader some uncomfortable questions at party’s membership drive on Tuesday. Yadav and his colleagues have lodged a complaint against Chauhan at Kuhu Police station. The police are investigating,” the release said.
Meanwhile, another party office bearer Rutvik Joshi tendered an unconditional apology to the fraternity and also issued a show cause notice to Chauhan. The Mumbai Press Club has also taken up the matter with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s office, AICC and Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam, and demanded a stern action against the leader.