Journalists boycott court inauguration

Judge's remarks cause resentment

Special Correspondent

GULBARGA: Presspersons on Thursday boycotted the function to mark the inauguration of the new building of the Civil Court and the Judicial Magistrate First Class Court in Jewargi town, 50 km from here.

The boycott was in protest against observations made by Karnataka High Court Judge K. Bhakthavatsala against the press in general and presspersons in particular.

Before walking out of the venue of the function, the presspersons registered their protest against the observations and attempts made by a section of lawyers to manhandle some of the journalists who were seated in the press gallery.

The trouble started after Mr. Bhakthavatsala, during the course of his speech, criticised journalists for not correctly reporting the observations made in courts. "They are not well qualified," he said.

Taken aback by the remarks of the judge, the presspersons stood up and asked the judge not to generalise his criticism and to withdraw the remark that journalists are not qualified.

The judge, however, stood his ground and concluded his speech with the remark: "It is my right to express my feelings and this is also a fact."

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