Delhi HC rejects PIL for reporting guidelines related to criminal investigations

The Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to consider a public interest dispute asking the Center to develop rules, regulations or guidelines to govern the reporting and dissemination of all information related to criminal investigations.

A bench led by Chief Justice DN Patel said rule making was a government prerogative and petitioner Mohammed Khalil was free to make representation to authorities on the matter.

“As such representation is made, the same decision will be made by the relevant authorities in accordance with applicable law, rules, regulations and government policies,” the court said.

Rejecting the petition, the judiciary ordered, “We see no reason to allow this petition. In drafting the rules, representation may always be preferred and the same will be decided in accordance with applicable law, rules, regulations and government policies. We reserve the freedom with the petitioner to make the representation.

The court, also including Judge Jyoti Singh, noted that the petitioner had yet to file a petition despite filing the petition last year.

“You haven’t had a fight for a single day and you’re filing a PIL. This is a public interest dispute, ”said the court.

In addition to asking for directions, the petition alleged that a news anchor and his channel were reporting “distorted and misleading facts” about the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Such reporting, according to the plea, resulted in a violation of the right to a fair trial.

She thus requested the opening of contempt of court proceedings against the presenter and his channel for the alleged “prejudicial report”.

The petition alleged that the journalist and the TV station were on a “witch hunt” against Rajput’s friend and actress, Rhea Chakraborty, and behaving like a “judge, jury and executioner” to influence public opinion against her.

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

Mark M. Gagnon