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Website’s can publish non-reportable judgments?

(Before Paresh Upadhyay, J.)

Dharamraj Bhanushankar Dave
State of Gujarat & Ors.

Special Civil Application No. 1854 of 2015
Decided on February 5, 2015
Citation:2015 SCC OnLine Guj 2019

Paresh Upadhyay, J.:— The principal prayer in this petition reads as under.
“[B] YOUR LORDSHIP may be pleased to issue an appropriate writ/order or direction to the respondents so as to enable permanent restraint of free public exhibition of the judgment and order of this Hon’ble Court dated 30.10.2007 passed in Criminal Appeal No. 1691 of 2005 over the internet caused by the Respondent No. 5/6.”

2. Attention of this Court is invited to the snapshot on the website of respondent No. 5-Indian which reads as under.

“Can you remove my court case?
We will not remove any public documents without a court order. Remember, there are many, many copies of these court decisions in existence, and Indian Kanoon has just one of those many copies. If you want information deleted, your only recourse is with the courts that issued the opinion. You should contact the court directly or hire a lawyer to do so for you.”

3. Reliance is placed on Rule 151 of the Gujarat High Court Rules, 1993 (as modified upto 06.02.2013), which reads as under.

“151. Parties to proceedings entitled to copies:
Application by third parties to be accompanied by affidavits.
Copies of documents in any Civil or Criminal proceeding and copies of judgment of the High Court shall not be given to persons other than the parties thereto without the order of the Assistant Registrar. Applications for copies of documents or judgment made by third parties shall be accompanied by an affidavit stating the grounds on which they are required, provided that such affidavit shall be dispensed with in case of applications made by or on behalf of the Government of the Union, the Government of any State or the Government of any foreign State.”

4. Prima facie, the prayer made in this petition can not be accepted, in view of the fact that the orders passed by this Court are available on the website of the High Court itself, and they are uploaded everyday, when the same is signed by the concerned Hon’ble Judge(s). Further, copy of these orders is also available on the public counter at the High Court, to anybody.

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5. In these circumstances, above quoted Rule 151 can not be read to mean that, the access to the said order is restricted to only the party to the litigation, or to a party who files affidavit as contemplated under the said Rule, else it may turn out to be redundant to that extent. However, in view of the said Rule, as it stands now,issue notice to the respondents returnable on 26.02.2015.

6. Over and above normal mode of service, direct service is permitted. It would be open to serve the respondents No. 3 to 6 by Registered Post.

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