Court coverageContempt of Parliament and State Legislatures: TheParliament expects "a television reporter should bemore cautious than a private citizen as his criticismsare widely published." Such comments in respect ofParliamentary proceedings or the performance ofany member on the floor of the House, if theycontain any personal attacks on individual membersor if the language of the comments is vulgar orabusive, are not protected and cannot be deemed tocome within the bounds of fair comment orjustifiable criticism.
Court coverage• Such writing constitute a breach of privilege and contempt of the House on the principle that such acts tend to destroy the House and its members in the performance of their functions and duties by diminishing the respect due to them and by bringing them into odium, contempt or ridicule.
Court coverage• It is one thing to criticise the performance of a Member of Parliament and quite another to report Parliamentary proceedings. The Parliamentary Proceedings (Protection of Publications) Act of 1956, popularly known as Feroz Gandhi Act, provides that no person should be liable to any proceedings-civil or criminal in respect of a publication in a newspaper of a substantially true report of any proceedings of either House of Parliament. This Act was repealed during the Emergency but has now been reenacted.
Court coverage•• The Act permits the press to report defamatory statements in parliament without committing a breach of privilege of Parliament and by implication no legal action for the publication of any such statement referring to any outsider. This Act, how ever, applies only to the proceedings of Parliament and not of State Legislatures which are left free to enact their own legislation in that respect.