On Monday, a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice Girish S. Kulkarni heard a petition filed by former Maharashtra police officers as well as activists, lawyers and NGOs seeking a ban against media trials in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case. Later pronounced his decision. The court said that a media trial of an ongoing investigation violates the program code under the Cable TV Network Regulation Act and influences the investigation.
During its decision, HC stated that some reporting by news channels such as Republic TV and Times Now was “prima facials”. The bench, however, avoided initiating any action against him.
The bench also said that the media should refrain from putting photographs of the victims and the accused and that investigations are on to reconstruct the incident. “Trial by the media leads to interference and obstruction of justice and apparently contempt”, the court observed.
The court also admitted the allegation that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has quashed the statutory functions relating to the rules relating to the report in Sushant Singh Rajput death case.
The court ordered that the guidelines of the Press Council of India (PCI) apply to electronic media as well as print media until the electronic media implements its own guidelines.
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