During the hearing of the case involving actor Sushant Singh Rajput, the Bombay High Court on Monday directed the media houses to exercise restraint while reporting on the suicide case. The court called the two channels’ reporting defamatory, saying “the media interfered and obstructed the administration of the trial.”
Chief Justice Dipankar Dutt and Justice GS Kulkarni said some reports on Republic TV and Times Now after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput were defamatory. However, the bench said that it has not yet decided to take action against the channels.
The court said that the display of such news by any media organization would be tantamount to defamation of the court which would prevent the investigation or delivery of justice in the case. “The media trial interferes and obstructs justice and it simply violates the program code under the TV Network Regulation Act,” the bench said.
The court said, “Any news must comply with the standards of journalism and ethics, otherwise the media houses must take defamation action.” Several guidelines were also issued.
In November last year, the court reserved judgment in favor of several PILs rather than suspending the news of Rajput’s death, especially on TV news channels. The petitions were filed by senior advocate Aspi Chinoy, a group of workers, other citizens and retired police officers. He also demanded that news channels stop holding media trials in Sushant’s case.