Delhi HC turns down plea on criminal investigation reporting guidelines
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Delhi HC turns down plea on criminal investigation reporting guidelines

New Delhi, 08, Octobder, 2021, By IBW Team

Delhi HC turns down plea on criminal investigation reporting guidelines

The Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a direction to the country’s federal government to frame rules, regulations or guidelines to govern the reporting and broadcasting of all news related to criminal investigations.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice DN Patel, said framing of rules was a prerogative of the government and the petitioner, Mohammed Khalil, was free to make a representation to the authorities on the matter, PTI reported from New Delhi.

“As and when such representation is made, the same will be decided by the concerned authorities as per law, rules, regulations and applicable government policies,” the court said.

Rejecting the petition, the bench ordered, “We see no reason to entertain this petition. To draft the rules, a representation can always be preferred and the same will be decided as per law, rules, regulations and applicable government policies. We reserve liberty with the petitioner to make the representation.”

The bench, also comprising Justice Jyoti Singh, noted that the petitioner was yet to make submissions in spite of the petition being filed last year.

“You have not argued on a single day and you people are filing a PIL. This is a publicity interest litigation,” the court remarked.

Apart from seeking guidelines, the petition alleged that a news anchor and his channel were reporting “distorted and misleading facts” on the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Such reporting, the plea claimed, resulted in the infringement of the right to fair trial.

It thus sought initiation of contempt of court proceedings against the anchor and his channel for the alleged “prejudicial reporting”.

In October last year, the court had asked the petitioner to suggest the kind of rules that could be framed to regulate media reporting of criminal probes.


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