Centre government told to the High Court of Bombay in Sushant Sing Rajput death case that courts have been very clear in condemning media trials and center does not seek to justify media trials
While appearing before the Bombay High Court on behalf of the Union of India in the PILs seeking to control “media trial” in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case by certain news channels, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh submitted that Courts have been very clear in condemning media trials and Centre does not seek to justify media trials and accepts the legal position.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni began hearing of the matter appearing on behalf of the petitioner NGO ‘In Pursuit of Justice’, Advocate Neela Gokhale submitted that if a publisher is aware that proceedings are imminent in a particular case and still goes ahead with the publication of material relating to the case then in that situation, the Contempt of Courts Act will apply. She said-
“When media houses are aware the proceedings in court are imminent, and with such awareness make publications which tend to interfere with the administration of justice, that amounts to contempt of court through Section 3(2) of the act.””How will such publication interfere with the administration of justice?” Justice Kulkarni asked Adv Gokhale to argue this aspect.
Yes, Advocate Gokhale responded. Referring to media reporting in Sushant Singh Rajput’s case by a certain section of the media, Advocate Gokhale cited instances that would amount to interference in administration of justice. She submitted that statements of potential witnesses, investigating officers in respect of certain witnesses, private WhatsApp chats, statements of doctors, nurses etc, were also published.