Delhi HC rejects PILs for guidelines on reporting related to criminal investigations – The New Indian Express


NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Thursday declined to consider a public interest litigation requesting the Center to issue rules, regulations or guidelines to govern the reporting and dissemination of all news related to criminal investigations .

A bench headed by Chief Justice DN Patel said rule-making was a prerogative of the government and the petitioner, Mohammed Khalil, was free to make representations to the authorities about it.

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

“We see no reason to accept this petition. In drafting the rules, a representation can always be preferred and the same will be decided in accordance with applicable law, rules, regulations and government policies. We reserve liberty to the petitioner to make the representation, “it is ordered.

The bench, which also includes Judge Jyoti Singh, noted that the petitioner has yet to make submissions despite filing the petition last year.

“You haven’t had a fight for a day and you’re filing a PIL. This is publicity interest litigation,” the court noted.

Besides seeking guidelines, the petition alleged that a news anchor and his channel were reporting “distorted and misleading facts” about the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

According to the plea, such reporting resulted in a violation of the right to a fair trial.

She therefore called for contempt of court proceedings to be opened against the presenter and his channel for the alleged “prejudicial reporting”.

The petition alleged that the journalist and TV station were conducting a ‘witch hunt’ against friend and actress of Rajput Rhea Chakraborty and acting as ‘judge, jury and executioner’ to sway public opinion against her.

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

Mark M. Gagnon