A division bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Talwant Singh has directed, while considering a petition filed by the Society for Tax Analysis and Research, has directed that, a law firm "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."
The bench of the Delhi High Court held that a law firm cannot report 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 had filed a petition requesting the Court to direct the Central Government to extend various tax due dates, meanwhile, an article on the proceedings was published on the blog of ALA Legal Advocates & Solicitors ("ALA Legal"), which is the law firm prosecuting in the case.
Titled "A Summer of Relief for Taxpayers" and published on https://gstlawindia.in, which is a website administered by the firm. Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman raised issue on the same, highlighting that the proceedings had been incorrectly reported in the blog.
The court agreeing with the ASG, ordered that the law firm "cannot and ought not to" report on the ongoing proceedings which are being prosecuted by it, as there is every possibility of lack of objectivity in reporting.
Adv. Puneet Aggarwal, appearing on behalf of the petitioners submitted that the blog titled, "A Summer of Relief for Taxpayers", hitherto available on the URL https://gstlawindia.in/a-summer-of-relief-for-taxpayers/, would be removed and offered to tender an unconditional apology to the Court as also to the ASG Mr. Venkatraman. He further submitted that the order of the concerned order of this Court dated May 25, will be uploaded on the aforementioned website/blog, wherein the Court had directed the Petitioners to submit the suggestions of the parties before the GST Council and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).