Bombay High Court asks media to show restraint in reporting of Sushant case

A view of the Bombay High Court   | Photo Credit: PAUL NORONHA

The Bombay High Court on Thursday told the media to exercise restraint in reporting the investigation into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

“We urge and expect the media to exercise restraint in reporting of the investigation with respect to the death, [such that it] would not hamper investigation in any manner,” the court said.

A Division Bench of Justices A.A. Sayed and was hearing two public interest litigation (PIL) petitions filed by former Director Generals of Police (DGP) and former Commissioner of Police against the “unfair, malicious and false media campaign” against Mumbai Police in the case of the death of the actor.

Former DGP and CP M.N. Singh and former DGPs Parvinder Pasricha, D. Shivanandan, Sanjeev Dayal, Satish Mathur and K. Subramanyam and additional DGP Krishipal Raghuvanshi, along with former CP Dhananjay Jadhav were represented by senior advocate Milind Sathe.

Mr. Sathe said, “The media has virtually taken over the investigation and is doing parallel investigation and parallel trial. The Mumbai police is being called a co-conspirator. There is a malicious vilification campaign.” He added, “There is no castigation or stigma cast on the Mumbai Police and despite that, media is falsely tarnishing the Mumbai police.”

The lawyer said the media was violating provisions of The Police (Incitement to Disaffection) Act and sought directions to the Union of India, Press Council of India, News Broadcaster's Association and News Broadcasting Standards Authority to issue guidelines to media houses and publications.

The other PIL was filed by filmmaker Nilesh Navlakha, Mahibub D. Shaikh, editor of a regional newspaper, and Subhash Chander, a retired civil servant, seeking direction to news channels to ensure no media trial is undertaken as it would have the impact of prejudicing the independent investigation being undertaken by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Senior advocate Devadatt Kamat appeared for the trio and told the court, “They are not demanding a prohibition on reporting in the case, but only seeking that the media adhere to journalistic standards and ethics.”

The PIL says the media was violating norms of the Press Council of India, and also the programme code under the Cable TV Act while reporting the case.

The Bench said it would like to first see what the Union government and the CBI have to say in response to the pleas. The Bench has posted the petitions for further hearing on September 10.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 4:50:47 AM |

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