Supreme Court Calls for Guidelines on Media Reporting in Criminal Cases

Supreme Court Calls for Guidelines on Media Reporting in Criminal Cases
Supreme Court Calls for Guidelines on Media Reporting in Criminal Cases
Supreme Court Calls for Guidelines on Media Reporting in Criminal Cases
Supreme Court Calls for Guidelines on Media Reporting in Criminal Cases

Supreme Court Calls for Guidelines on Media Reporting in Criminal Cases

Supreme Court Calls for Guidelines on Media Reporting in Criminal Cases. Image/NDTV

The Supreme Court of India has expressed strong disapproval of “media trials,” referring to biased reporting that can create public suspicion regarding the guilt of individuals accused of crimes. The court has directed the Union Home Ministry to develop guidelines for police to adhere to during press briefings related to criminal cases. The ministry has been given three months to prepare a comprehensive manual.

The court’s decision comes in response to concerns about the impact of media coverage on criminal cases. The top police officials in each state and the National Human Rights Commission have been instructed to provide suggestions to the home ministry within a month. The next hearing on this matter is scheduled for January.

The Supreme Court emphasized the need to sensitize police personnel and underscored the importance of determining when details of investigations should be disclosed to the media. The court recognized that media reporting on crime-related matters involves multiple aspects of public interest but cautioned against allowing media trials that could prejudice the rights of victims and the accused.

The court highlighted the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression and acknowledged the media’s role in portraying and broadcasting ideas and news. However, it stressed the importance of ensuring a fair and unbiased investigation, as every accused individual is entitled to the presumption of innocence.

This decision builds on a 2017 instruction related to police briefings, where the court had asked the government to establish rules that protect the rights of both the accused and the victim, ensuring that neither side is prejudiced or violated. The court had then given a six-week deadline for producing a draft report.

The Supreme Court’s concern regarding media trials aligns with its previous calls for responsible reporting and accuracy in journalism. The court recognizes the potential for selective quoting and sensationalized reporting to distort public understanding of legal issues.

In response to the court’s directive, the government has assured that it will frame and release guidelines for police briefings concerning media coverage of criminal cases. This development highlights the ongoing efforts to strike a balance between the public’s right to information and the need to uphold fair and unbiased legal proceedings.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Telegram
WhatsApp
Email
Note: You have to fill-up above all respective field, then click below button for send your message