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Is It Media’s Job to Give Advise on Probe, Bombay HC Comments While Hearing SSR ‘Media Trial’ PILs

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File photograph of Bombay High Court

“Is it duty of media to advise an investigating agency? It is the duty of the investigating officer to apply his mind (in the probe),” the courtroom mentioned. The judges made the remark when advocate Malvika Trivedi, representing a information channel which has been made a respondent, opposed the PILs.

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  • Last Updated: October 8, 2020, 9:58 PM IST

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The Bombay High Court requested on Thursday if it was the media’s job to proffer advise to an investigating company about the way it ought to conduct a probe. The comment was made by a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni through the listening to of public curiosity litigations (PILs) towards the “media trial” within the actor Sushant Singh Rajput demise case.

“Is it duty of media to advise an investigating agency? It is the duty of the investigating officer to apply his mind (in the probe),” the courtroom mentioned. The judges made the remark when advocate Malvika Trivedi, representing a information channel which has been made a respondent, opposed the PILs.


Trivedi opposed the arguments made by senior counsel Aspi Chinoy, the lawyer for a gaggle of former cops who’ve filed one of many PILs alleging that the Mumbai police had been being maligned by the media within the Rajput case. Trivedi mentioned there couldn’t be any gag order on reporting. “How can structured lines be drawn on role of media. What about the Hathras case? Isn’t the media’s role in the case important?” she requested.

The courtroom identified that the PILs weren’t searching for a gag order however solely asking for accountable journalism. “He (Chinoy) is submitting that the media cannot intervene in investigations or declare who is guilty, who is not,” the bench mentioned.

Advocate Chinoy argued that the press, significantly information channels, can not pre-judge somebody’s guilt, and identified a `hashtag’ marketing campaign run by a information channel calling for Rhea Chakraborty’s arrest within the Rajput case. “Can you imagine the damage such a hashtag can do?….

It is not the news channel’s job to decide on anyone’s guilt, or create perception of guilt or to suggest arrest,” he mentioned. When in a pending investigation a channel mentioned “arrest x”, it crossed all strains, advocate Chinoy added.

While the Press Council of India has pointers for the print media that warn towards assigning guilt throughout ongoing probe, there aren’t any pointers for channels, he mentioned. The HC requested if the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) had handed any orders on the complaints obtained towards information channels.

Advocate Nisha Bhambhani, the NBSA’s lawyer, mentioned that the majority complaints had been heard and “an apology had been sought from news channels”. “Is apology enough,” the courtroom requested.

Bhambhani mentioned the NBSA will submit pointers if required. But advocateRajesh Inamdar, lawyer for an additional petitioner, identified thatmost information channels weren’t members of the NBSA. The courtroom then sought the Union authorities’s response on the problem on Monday and adjourned the listening to.

Rhea Chakraborty, who’s going through an abetment of suicide case in connection along with her boyfriend Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise, was given bail by one other excessive courtroom bench on Wednesday in a drug case related to the matter.




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