Watch | Prajwal Revanna sexual assault case: What is a media gag order? | Explained

Watch | Prajwal Revanna sexual assault case: What is a media gag order? | Explained

What have courts previously said about their legality?

May 03, 2024 12:45 pm | Updated 09:09 pm IST

A political storm has hit the ongoing Lok Sabha elections ahead of the third phase of polling. The Karnataka government on April 27 constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) after hundreds of sex videos featuring multiple women allegedly recorded by Janata Dal (Secular) MP Prajwal Revanna on his cellphone came to light.

Revanna is also the NDA candidate from Hassan in the Lok Sabha elections and the grandson of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda. 

On May 2, the Karnataka police booked the Hassan MP on rape charges and issued a lookout circular against the “absconding” MP a day after he failed to appear before the SIT that is probing his alleged sexual crimes. His father and former Minister H.D. Revanna, who also skipped the SIT summons on Thursday, approached the special court seeking anticipatory bail.

The lookout circular attains significance as Prajwal Revanna is currently not in the country and is said to have flown to Europe on the morning of April 27 – hours before the State government decided to constitute the SIT to probe the sexual abuse allegations.

Central to this case is a suit moved by Prajwal Revanna himself before a Bengaluru civil court in June last year, seeking a gag order against  86 media outlets and three private persons to halt the spread of what he claimed to be “fake news” and doctored videos. He was granted an injunction by the court on June 2 last year citing the threat posed by further dissemination of these allegedly “morphed” photos and videos.

So what exactly are media gag orders and what have courts previously said about their legality?

Presentation: Aaratrika Bhaumik

Production: Richard Kujur

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