Supreme Court issues notice to Centre on plea seeking guidelines on media interactions during police investigations

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The Supreme Court docket on Monday issued a discover to the central authorities on a Public Curiosity Litigation (PIL) looking for instructions for uniform tips on media interactions by police departments throughout India throughout felony investigations or inquiries.

The petitioner argued that there’s a want for such tips to guard the rights of the accused in felony investigations.

A bench of justices Abdul Nazeer and Ramasubramanian issued the discover after listening to the plea.

WHAT DOES THE PIL SAY?

The petitioner mentioned that he was picked up by Uttar Pradesh Anti Terrorism Squad for questioning in an alleged non secular conversion racket. He claimed that regardless of being given a clear chit, he continues to face societal prejudice as a result of false data launched within the media.

The petitioner mentioned that false data was launched to the media relating to the standing of his faith.

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He sought instructions towards the development of investigating companies leaking particulars of a case to the media. He additionally drew consideration to the media accessing delicate particulars of a case and creating a prejudice towards an accused even earlier than such paperwork are submitted in court docket.

The PIL identified that the Supreme Court docket, in its order dated March 29, 2017 in a case filed by the Folks’s Union for Civil Liberties, had directed the Union of India to finalise the ‘Memorandum of Police Pointers’ on media briefings. Nevertheless, the case has neither been listed since 2017 nor has any affidavit been filed within the matter.

WHAT DIRECTIONS DID THE COURT SEEK?

After listening to the plea, the court docket sought the next instructions from the federal government on media interactions by police throughout ongoing felony investigations:

1. Instructions to all police departments within the nation with regard to making sure the suitable to dignity, of equality and liberty of a suspect or accused in felony investigations whereas interacting with the media.

2. Instructions to police forces to chorus from disclosing names and particulars of accused on the preliminary stage in ongoing felony circumstances.

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3. Laying down minimal requirements or tips for police officers and public authorities to chorus from making public statements in regards to the guilt of an accused, and from disclosing their identify at preliminary levels.

4. Laying down tips for the media to chorus from making public statements in regards to the guilt of an accused until it has been confirmed in a reliable court docket having jurisdiction to strive the alleged offences.

5. Instructions to authorities to difficulty applicable clarifications when an individual questioned throughout an investigation is discovered to be away from any wrongdoing, as an effort to revive their dignity.

— ENDS —

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