prpri HC suggest Law firm to not to write on website/blog, in respect of proceedings, which are being prosecuted by such law firm HC suggest Law firm to not to write on website/blog, in respect of proceedings, which are being prosecuted by such law firm

Case Law Details

Case Name : Society For Tax Analysis And Research Vs Union Of India & Ors. (Delhi High Court)
Appeal Number : W.P.(C) 5114/2021
Date of Judgement/Order : 01/06/2021
Related Assessment Year :

Society For Tax Analysis And Research Vs Union Of India & Ors. (Delhi High Court)

The Delhi High Court, while considering a petition filed by Society for Tax Analysis and Research, a two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court has held that a law firm cannot report the details of the cases through their website/blog for the reason that any slant in such reporting may lead to multifarious problems which may affect the proceedings and the respective counsels.

The petitioners filed a petition requesting the Court to direct the Central Government to extend various tax due dates. In the meanwhile, an article was published in a blog titled “A Summer of Relief for Taxpayers”, published on https://gstlawindia.in, administered by ALA Legal Advocates & Solicitors concerning the proceedings.

Mr. Puneet Aggarwal, Advocate appeared on behalf of the petitioners requested to remove the blog and to make an unconditional apology to the Court as also to the Additional Solicitor General Mr. Venkatraman.

The petitioners also contended that the order of this Court dated 25.05.2021, will be uploaded on the aforementioned website/blog wherein the Court directed to submit the suggestions of the parties before the GST Council and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

Justice Rajiv Shakhder and Justice Talwant Singh observed that “we have also indicated to Mr. Aggarwal that ALA Legal cannot, and ought not, run the website/blog, in respect of the proceedings, which are being prosecuted by it, as there is every likelihood of losing objectivity in the reportage of proceedings; as was the case, in the instant matter.”

While postponing the matter to 22nd July 2021, the Court observed that “any slant in the reporting, which is not in line with the orders of the Court, leads to multifarious problems including the embarrassment that counsels appearing in the matter may encounter vis-a-vis their respective principals.”

FULL TEXT OF THE HIGH COURT ORDER /JUDGEMENT

1. We have heard learned counsel for the parties, for quite some time. Mr. N. Venkatraman, learned ASG, says that he would want to file a response to the additional affidavit filed on behalf of the petitioner, which, we are told, has been received, only this morning.

1.1 Let the needful be done within the next two weeks. Copies of the affidavit-in-reply will be shared with the counsels for the petitioners, as well as the amici curiae.

2. There is another aspect of the matter which has been brought to fore by Mr Venkatraman; this involves incorrect reporting of the proceedings of this Court, held on 25.05.2021.

2.1 Mr. Puneet Aggarwal, who appears on behalf of the petitioners, in W.P.(C) 5177/2021, says that the disconcerting blog, titled “A Summer of Relief for Taxpayers”, published on https://gstlawindia.in, administered by ALA Legal Advocates & Solicitors [in short “ALA Legal”]; [available at the following URL: https://gstlawindia.in/a-summer-of-relief-for-taxpayers/] concerning the proceedings, will be removed, and an unconditional apology will be tendered to the Court as also to Mr. Venkatraman, the learned ASG.

3. Furthermore, Mr. Aggarwal says that the order of this Court dated 25.05.2021, will be uploaded on the aforementioned website/blog. We have also indicated to Mr. Aggarwal that ALA Legal cannot, and ought not, run the website/blog, in respect of the proceedings, which are being prosecuted by it, as there is every likelihood of losing objectivity in the reportage of proceedings; as was the case, in the instant matter.

4. Any slant in the reporting, which is not in line with the orders of the Court, leads to multifarious problems including the embarrassment that counsels appearing in the matter may encounter vis-a-vis their respective principals.

5. List the matter on 22.07.2021.

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