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'Media Trial' impacts investigations: Bombay HC

Media trial violates the programme code under the Cable TV Network Regulation Act, the court said

Monday January 18, 2021 5:21 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Bombay HC on Media Trial

Mumbai: In a significant verdict, the Bombay High Court on Monday said that "media trial" impacts investigations, violates laws, obstructs administration of justice besides amounting to a contempt of court.

"Part of the coverage by Republic TV and Times Now in the Sushant Singh Rajput case was "prima facie contemptuous" of the Mumbai Police, the Bombay High Court said.

The ruling was passed by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni on a bunch of PILs filed by a group of IPS officers and activists vis-a-vis the case concerning the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June 2020 and the resultant high-voltage media coverage.

The court said it would not take "any action as of now" but made it clear that media trial during investigation in a case "does impact the investigation".

"Media trial violates the programme code under the Cable TV Network Regulation Act. We have held that the media trial runs counter to the programme code," said the judges.

The court said that since the electronic media does not have its own guidelines currently, the Press Council of India guidelines for print media would be applicable to the electronic media also.


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