Bombay HC Urges Authorities to Regulate Media Trial Taking Place in the Death of SSR

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Two PILs to regulate the ongoing media trial in light of the death of Sushant Singh Rajput were filed before the Bombay High Court and were heard together by a division bench of Justice A.A. Sayed and Justice Surendra P. Tavde.

Facts of the Case

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by a former IPS officer to regulate news channels in regards to “media trial” happening in the case of the death of Sushant Singh Rajput.

Petitioner’s Arguments

The counsel for the petitioner presented before the court a media advisory issued on 28th August 2020 and the “Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards” which talks about “principles of self-regulation’, impartiality, objectivity, neutrality and privacy”. The 28th August advisory which was issued by the Press Council of India concerning the ongoing media trial on the death of Sushant Singh Rajput states that:

“The Media should not narrate the story in a manner to induce the general public to believe in the complicity of the person indicted. Publishing information based on gossip about the line of investigation by the official agencies on the crime committed is not desirable. It is not advisable to vigorously report crime related issues on a day to day basis and comment on the evidence without ascertaining the factual matrix. Such reporting brings undue pressure in the course of fair investigation and trial.”

Court’s Decision

Since the respondents in the case were not present during the proceedings, the court asked the respondent to exercise restraint in the media reporting about the investigation of the unnatural death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput which would in any manner hamper or prejudice the ongoing investigation which is being carried out by CBI. 

The next hearing in the case is on 10th September 2020


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