Remarking that media trials tend to influence judgements, the Delhi High Court on Thursday said that although it had no objection to screening the BBC documentary “India’s Daughter,” the matter could only be decided post a verdict regarding the fate of the convicts, from the Supreme Court.
The Division Bench further said a decision on lifting the ban could only be taken by an appropriate Chief Justice’s Bench.
“We are prima facie not opposed to airing of the documentary, but only after the Supreme Court decides the appeals,” said Justices B.D. Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva.
It also refused to pass any interim orders on the appeal asking for the ban to be lifted. “Had it been originally placed before us, we would have asked you to place material before us on why the ban should be lifted. But it has come here from the roster bench of the Chief Justice, so we will not pass any interim orders. Let the roster bench decide it,” the court said.
The judges spoke at length over the subject of media trials influencing court decisions. “Media trials do tend to influence judges. Subconsciously, a pressure is created and it does have an effect on the sentencing of the accused. Whether he [the accused] has shown remorse or not would be considered at the time of his sentencing. Why not wait till the Supreme Court decision?”