Even non-reportable judgments can be obtained and published on internet

Gujarat High Court: The Single Bench of R.M. Chhaya, J. has held that a third-party can obtain a copy of even non-reportable judgments, and if such judgment is published online, it would not amount to being reported, as the word “reportable” used for judgment is in relation to it being reported in law reporter.

In the instant case, the petitioner was accused for committing offences punishable under Sections 34, 120B, 201, 302, 364, 404 of the Penal Code, 1860. After the trial, the petitioner was acquitted. Later, the High Court, in appeal, confirmed the judgment of the Sessions Court. The petitioner contended that the respondents had published the High Court’s judgement on internet, even though the judgment was non-reportable. He also contended that making available judicial orders would be exclusive domain of Court’s Registrar and respondents had no authority to publicly exhibit such orders.

The Court observed that the petitioner had not been able to point out out any provision whereby the respondents can be restrained in exercise of powers under Article 226 of the Constitution. The Court also noted that even under the Gujarat High Court Rules, 1993 a third party can obtain copies of the said judgment, and merely publishing the judgment online would not amount to being reported. The petition was accordingly dismissed. [Dharamraj Bhanushankar Dave v. State of Gujarat, Special Civil Application No. 1854 of 2015, decided on January 19, 2017]

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