Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Media Trail in India

 Media trail in India


INTRODUCTION

Media trail is a process in which the media take a case in his own hand and declare the person either as guilty or not guilty. In simple words, it means taking a case in his own hand and declaring that who is guilty, even before the court has declared.

The term media is refers to the communication channels, it includes physical and online newspapers and magazines, television, radio, telephone, the Internet, fax and billboards. The main work of media is to connect individual with the world by the means of information. 

Media can be of mainly two types PRINT and BROADCAST media but with the developing technology we see social media is also performing a major duty in assimilation of information.


TRIAL BY MEDIA

Media makes wrong use of freedom of speech and expression

There have been numerous instances in which media has been accused of conducting the trial

Media trial should be done without restricting the rights of the accused under article 21 of the constitution.


EFFECTS OF MEDIA TRIAL ON ACCUSED

As the result of exposure by the media, the person in light, whether guilty or not will have to live under intense public scrutiny for years to come. This can hurt ones mental and social life fully.


EFFECTS OF MEDIA TRIAL ON WITNESS

If the identity of witness is published, there is danger of the witnesses coming under pressure both from the accused or his associates as well as from the police.

At the early stage, the witness wants to retract and get out of the muddle. Witness protection is then a serious casualty. 

This leads to the question about the admissibility of hostile witness evidence and whether the law should be amended to prevent witness changing their statements.

Even Judges are not immune for criticism and it became worse when criticism of them is ill-informed and gain public confidence.

Important cases related to Media Trail

  • Jessica Lal murder case Delhi

  •  Aarushi-Hemraj double murder case conducted on 16th may 2008 in Noida

  • Sushant Singh’s death case 

  • Aryan Khan son of Shahrukh Khan case 

  • The Delhi rape case

  • Ayodhya dispute

  • Sunanda Pushkar murder case

There is both good and bad side of media trail but we should appreciate the good side and focus on worse side to find some solutions. Media should use media trail as a weapon to watchdog the delivery of justice and not to gain so called TRPs or entertainment. 


FREEDOM OF PRESS DEFINED

The framers of the constitution considered freedom of the press as an essential part of the freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed in Article 19(1) (a) of the constitution.

Freedom of press is not specifically mentioned in article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution and what is mentioned there is only freedom of speech and expression. In the Constituent Assembly Debates, it was made clear by Dr. Ambedkar, Chairman of the Drafting Committee, that no special mention of the freedom of press was necessary at all as the press and an individual or a citizen were the same as far as their right of expression was concerned.


INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE ON MEDIA TRIAL

The media all over the world has a greater impact on the public as they have the power to attract and manipulate the thoughts of the people by providing information to the masses by different sources. The situation of the media in English courts is similar to some extent.

As art. 6 of the human rights act, the UN-based principle on the independence of the judiciary states that it is the duty of the judiciary to ensure that the judicial proceedings have been conducted fairly as well as the rights of both the parties have been respected.

The principle is given in this article has been interpreted in the same language in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which provides that “everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal” in the determination of any criminal charge or in a suit at law.


CONCLUSION

India has one of the freest media in the world. Media was provided with freedoms immunities so that this fourth pillar of democracy stands tall and strong. Media is the gatekeeper and watchdog of democracy. Its role is not limited to disseminating of the news but also to stir the public opinion and consciousness and take up public advocacy outside the court on matters related to public. However, the trial by media due to self-manifested stories, half-baked truth has resulted in not only the violation of right of individuals but also transforming the media reporting into the media circus.



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