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Supreme Court allows journalists to carry phones inside courtrooms, but in silent mode


In a latest circular issued by the Supreme Court of India on Monday, accredited and non-accredited journalists can carry their mobile phones inside courtrooms, but asked them to put the gadgets on ‘silent mode’. As per the new notification, any disturbance likely to be caused by phone users would invite confiscation, it warns.

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The circular reads, “Hon’ble Chief Justice of India has been pleased to allow the media persons/journalists, who have been issued six months passes by the Registry, to carry mobile phones inside courtrooms on silent mode and that the Deputy Registrar (Public Relations) will endorse suitably on the passes that the person carrying mobile phone be allowed inside the courtroom.”

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In addition the warning reads, “It has been directed that a cell-phone creating any disturbance/nuisance inside courtroom will be confiscated by the court master and handed over to the Additional Registrar (Security).”

Earlier the May, the circular released by the apex court allowed only the accredited journalists to carry their mobile phone inside the courtroom. Later, when some journalists took the matter with Chief Justice Dipak Misra, another notifications was issued which allowed other journalists, having been issued six-month passes by the Registry, to carry mobile phones inside the courtrooms.

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This is the first time that even the non-accredited journalists are allowed to carry their mobile phone inside the courtroom. However, lawyers are allowed to carry mobile phones on silent mode. With this, journalists covering the legal news have hailed the decision, saying it will help in real-time reporting.

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