On Monday, a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni passed its ruling after hearing pleas filed by former police officers from Maharashtra as well as activists, lawyers and NGOs seeking restraining orders against media trial in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case. The court said that a media trial of an ongoing investigation violates program code under the Cable TV network Regulation Act and does have an impact on the probe.
During its verdict, the HC said that some reporting by news channels like Republic TV and Times Now was “prima facie contemptuous”. The bench however refrained from initiating any action against them.
The bench also said that the media should avoid putting photographs of victims and accused as well as reconstructing the incident while the investigation is ongoing. “Trial by media leads to interference and obstruction of justice and clearly amounts to contempt”, observed the court.
The court also accepted the accusation that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has abdicated statutory functions pertaining to regulations related to reportng in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.
The court ordered that the Press Council of India (PCI) guidelines will apply to electronic media along with print media till the time electronic media frame their own guidelines.
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