Bombay HC to deliver judgment tomorrow in case of a media trial of Shushant Singh Rajput case2 min read

BY: SAKSHI SINGH


The Bombay High Court will deliver its judgment on Monday in a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed against media trial in the wake of the narration relating to Bollywood actor, Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide case. 

The judgment will be delivered by a two-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni. The bench had reserved its judgment in the matters on November 6, 2020. 

 
The Court was approached by several pleas seeking the following prayers: 

Directions to prominent television networks to restrict reportage that could hamper the investigation into the demise of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. 

Protest over some sections of the media maligning the image of the Mumbai Police through media trial. 

Re-interpretation of contempt law so that publications made from the stage of filing an FIR in criminal cases may be subject to contempt liability  
Framing guidelines to regulate the print or broadcast media without curtailing the freedom of the press. 
 
Senior Advocate Aspi Chinoy had opened the arguments for the petitioners. His primary contention was that while reporting or broadcasting a criminal proceeding, media channels are required to take utmost care to ensure that they do not suggest who should be arrested or who is guilty. 

It was also his argument that the broadcasting federation associations such as the News Broadcasting Association (NBA) which the electronic media channels created to regulate themselves did not consist of every channel. Hence, regulating non-members was still an issue. 

While issuing notice in one of the pleas, the Court had urged media channels to show restraint in reporting the SSR suicide case in order to avoid hindering the investigation. 
While extensively hearing all counsel, the Courts indicated that since the issue brought before them was unprecedented, they are in favor of issuing guidelines to curb media trial. 

Before reserving the matter for judgment, the Court explicitly asked all parties to address the court through their written submissions on the edges of their jurisdiction to issue guidelines. 


 

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