Reporter's Diary: Yes, journos do cover the courts!
Policemen deployed at the gates of Madras High Court question everyone who enters the premises. They’re all asked about the purpose of the visit, and of course, one cannot begrudge someone for doing their duty.
But this cannot be used as a reason to restrain those who reveal their identity and the genuine purpose of their visit to the HC. I was shocked that a few cops are unaware of reporters covering the HC.
When I was inquired about my court visit, I revealed my identity as a journalist and that I cover the court news. To which I was asked, “Are you with the government press?”
Even after I said no, the constable continued: Are you coming here to deal with your personal case?”
I clarified that my job was to cover the Madras HC for this newspaper. I also showed my court-issued entry pass and media ID card. But the constable went to his senior officer – a Sub Inspector.
Now, it was his turn to question me. He wanted to know which court I was going to visit, and I answered politely, showing him my credentials.
What’s surprising here is that this is not a new experience for me. At least a dozen times, I’ve had to clarify, with court-provided entry pass, that I’m indeed a court reporter for this newspaper.
Perhaps, top officials must sensitise newcomers to the fact that journalists cover the courts and report on legal news.