Potpourri

THE TRIALS OF GANDHIJI

CASES ‘SUB JUDICE’

As to the general principles of law to be applied to this case, there can, I think, be no doubt. Speaking generally, it is not permissible to publish comments on or extracts from any pending proceedings in this Court unless the leave of the Court be first obtained. Many good reasons may be advanced for this, but the underlying principle is, I think, that of the due administration of justice for the public benefit, one incident of which demands that as a matter of common fairness, both parties shall be heard at the same time and in presence of each other on proper evidence by an independent and unprejudiced tribunal.

The object would be frustrated if newspapers were free to comment on or to make extracts from proceedings which were still sub judice. It matters not whether those comments and extracts favour prosecutors or accused, plaintiff or defendant. The vice is the interference with what is the Court’s duty and not a newspaper’s, viz. the decision of the pending case.

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