Read Order:P vs. A & Ors.

Pankaj Bajpai

Mumbai, September  28, 2021: In order to protect the identities of the parties from disclosure in proceedings involving issues under Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) (POSH) Act & Rules 2013, the Bombay High Court has passed an order issuing initial guidelines for setting out a working protocol for future orders, hearings and case file management.  

A Single Bench of Justice G.S. Patel therefore opined that the names of the parties will neither be mentioned in the order sheets nor will be referred in the body of the order.

Justice Patel further said that there will be neither mention of any personally identifiable information (PII) such as email ids, mobile or telephone numbers, addresses etc, nor witness’s names or their addresses.

The Bench also emphasized that no judgments or orders will be pronounced in open court but only in Chambers or in-camera.

The High Court strongly said that all parties and advocates as well as witnesses, are forbidden from disclosing the contents of any order, judgment or filing to the media or publishing any such material in any mode or fashion by any means, including social media, without specific leave of the court.

Further, the Court strictly prohibited any form of recording of any part of the proceedings and said that any attempt to record or transcribe any part of the proceedings will be a contempt of court.

On the question of public access, Justice Patel made it clear that an order can be released into the public domain only on fully anonymised version and that too upon prior permission of the Court.

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