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Homechevron_rightKeralachevron_rightGovernor laments...

Governor laments continuing lawyer-media conflict

Governor laments continuing lawyer-media conflict

Kollam: Governor P Sathasivam Saturday lamented the "unending conflict" between lawyers and mediapersons in the state and urged the legal fraternity to come forward to resolve the issue.

Inaugurating the Kerala Chapter conference of the Indian Association of Lawyers here, Sathasivan, a former Chief Justice of Supreme Court, also said judiciary and journalism were societys two most important "watchdogs of democracy" and both law and media were professions of public service.

"It is very sad that the most literate state faces an unending conflict between Lawyers and mediapersons, both of whom constitute two pillars of democracy," he said.

"As supporters and protectors of democracy, the legal fraternity should come forward to resolve the issue, which I understand, has worsened to the level of lawyers refusing to argue cases pertaining to media companies," he said.

His comments come against the backdrop of some high court lawyers clashing with journalists in Kochi on July 14 on reports about the arrest of a government pleader who allegedly tried to molest a woman.

This incident resulted in a stand-off between the media and lawyers in courts in Kerala with the former still facing problems in covering court proceedings.

Holding that the relationship between law and journalism should be "cooperative, not contradictory" and "complementary, not conflicting", he said, "The lawyer is the sworn officer of the court unto societys welfare and the journalist is the unsworn officer of society unto the common good."

Pointing that though "reasonable restrictions" in the courts can be understood, a total non-cooperation and antagonism were not in the spirit of the democratic values, he said.

He also noted that it was surprising that lawyers, who help litigants to reach consensus through Alternative Dispute Resolutions and other mediation, were unable to take a lead in settling their issue with journalists.

"Let us not forget that society is watching us," Sathasivam added.

He also noted that a lawyer had to be vigilant, especially in maintaining credibility.

"As a person who was fortunate to lead the Indian Judiciary, I am worried about the reports about unqualified lawyers in our State and the nation. "We have been hearing reports quoting official sources that thousands of lawyers in Kerala are yet to confirm their educational credentials," he said. As even an allegation in this regard was very depressing, it was high time lawyers associations came forward to clear the misunderstanding caused in society, the Governor added.

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