This refers to the editorial “Travesty of justice” (July 14). The needless sensationalism displayed by some sections of the media in covering the Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj murder case and the Uttar Pradesh police’s inept handling of the investigation are condemnable.
The fact is the police have all but forgotten the basic principle of Locard’s Theory — that every criminal leaves a trace at the scene of crime and leaves with something from the scene of crime. This helps in collecting vital scientific evidence. During preliminary investigations into the Aarushi murder case, the police neither preserved the scene of crime nor cared to collect physical evidence.
One wonders whether there is any control on the electronic media which play multiple roles of police, lawyer, judge, etc. Something should be done to ensure that the news channels do not engage in competitive character assassination. Public memory may be short but persons affected by such vicious reporting can suffer serious psychological scars. Although the print media adhere to norms of ethical reporting, the tendency to go overboard is beginning to show.
If, ultimately, Rajesh Talwar is proved innocent, will the television channels that pronounced him guilty compensate him for the agony experienced by him and his family? No doubt, the media are doing a great service but they need to curb sensationalism.
The Aarushi episode exposed the news-hungry media, with different television channels vying with one another to break news. Unfortunately, they have cultivated an audience which swallows sensational stories eagerly. The police, questioned every hour by the self-styled investigating gurus of various channels, also fall victims. Under pressure to produce results, they bungle the investigation.