In a unashamed attempt to restrict media from reporting the court proceedings against Kerala Industries Minister EP Jayarajan, journalists were forcefully thrown out of Thiruvananthapuram Special Vigilance Courtroom on Friday morning by a group of lawyers while the judge looked on. Surprisingly, the judge continued the proceedings even as journalists, including women media persons, were abused and threatened by lawyers.  

 

The lawyers threatened to manhandle two woman journalists who were present at the court to report the crucial hearing in the case against the minister. Asianet News reporter CP Ajitha said that she was threatened by a group of lawyers who pushed the journalists out of the courtroom. The lawyers roughed up The New Indian Express reporter Prabhath. 

 

The journalists were in the room early this morning, and no one objected when other cases were taken up. But when the judge was about to take up the case against Jayarajan, a gang of lawyers suddenly came up and forced the media persons out. 

 

When the lawyers threatened the journalists, the judge carried on with the proceedings. The journalists were safely brought out of the court by the police. 

 

The attack on journalists inside the courtroom took place at a time when the undeclared ban on media in Kerala courts since July this year invited international condemnation. 

 

The Kerala Chief Justice had convened a meeting on 30 September and assured that the media would be allowed inside courts. But things remained the same on the ground.  The standoff between the journalists and lawyers started with a street fight between the two groups on 20 July in front of Kerala High Court in Kochi. The lawyers resorted to violence against journalists for reporting the arrest of government pleader Dhanesh Mathew Manjooran in a molestation bid. The attack on journalists spread to other courts in the state, and an undeclared ban was imposed on court reporting since then.