Written by : KUMARI ANKITAN, B.A.LL.B, 4TH YEAR
In early times media was a boon that enlightened people and made them aware of what was going on around the world. the media work according to the constitution of India and follow the principle the of the constitution there is three pillars of democracy in India Legislative, executive, and judiciary but media is also considered as fourth pillar of democracy these days. it takes social, legal, cultural, economic, and financial issue in front of the people and makes people aware of the recent problem.
But now the media has transformed itself into a courtroom, or a Janta Adalat and started interfering in the court proceedings. even those in the media have no idea about the basic principle of justice and they have no sufficient qualifications to do that. they start trial on the staircase and start making their personal opinion. In contravention to [presumption of innocence until proven guilty] and [ guilty beyond reasonable doubt]. Now what is being observed is that the media starts their investigation [ media trial] along with police investigation. which includes making public opinion against the suspect even before the court's judgment or judicial decree. because of the society consider the accused as a criminal on the place of considering him as an accused or a in innocent person. which infringement the right and liberty of the accused in the society
The excessive publicity of the accused also affects the free and fair trial. And affect the proceedings of the court. Sometimes it effect the judgement to the amount of excessive interference in the administration of justice calls for proceeding against the media and putting the media before the bench for contempt of court. The media publish the names of the witness and start showing identity which risks the life of the witness.
WHAT IS MEDIA TRIAL
When any famous person or any famous case comes before the court. the people become curiosity to know about the case and whether that person is guilty or not. there the media for TRP converts itself into a courtroom and starts investigation by themselves and starts publishing, articles, newspapers, social media, and television everywhere. This is called trial by media and trial by media is not prohibited in India. It has great effect on the case and law of the nation.
EFFECT OF MEDIA TRIAL ON INDIAN SOCIETY AND INDIAN LAW
The basic work of media is to show the problem of the society to higher authorities of the nation and the common peoples. It is called the 4th pillar of a democratic nation. The media of every developing country plays a very important role in Their country's development. the media portray their nation's image globally. it also maintains peace in their society
But now the media becomes a courtroom or Janta Adalat and starts their trial they start taking interviews of parties and the witness of the case and starts portraying accused as a criminal some times which may affect the peace of the nation and make the citizens violent. which creates pressure on the government and the government because of the pressure amend laws. it is basic principle of law that cases which create public violence trial of those cases should be slow so that the peace of the society should be maintain as long as it’s possible but the media these days for TRP mostly give that kind of news and shows which creates conflict between community’s and law.
EFFECT OF MEDIA TRIAL ON CASE LAWS
· In media trial if any accused is proven guilty by media even before the trial in any court. their will possibility of serious prejudice to the accused.
· If the accused is proven innocent even after the full trial and if he has been shown by media as guilty it will be difficult for the accused to survive in the society.
· Unreasonable publicity of a case or any character of the case even when the verdict is still pending amounts to undue influence to the administration of justice which call for the contempt of court.
· If the identification of the witness gets reveled probably police and media will pressure the witness.
· The witness at the early stage wants to withdraw because of unnecessary publicity
· Protection of witness is also a serious issue. revel of witness can bring the witness in serious threat.
JUDGES AND COURT
· Judge come in the preview of criticism which can be judicial or purely person. Which many have a tendency to undermine the faith of the people in the judiciary
· A judge has to protect himself from such media pressure which can unconsciously affect the judge and judicial system. judges are also human and directly and indirectly they also get effected by the media news.
MEDIAN TRIAL V. RIGHT TO BE REPESENTED
Now we can see that the media trials indirectly stopping lawyers from taking case of the accused, in this manner the media is infringing the right of the accused to represent by the advocate of their choice. in this way media trial violating the rule of natural justice and Article 21 of the constitution of India (in case of Basudeo Tiwary v. sido kanhu university and ors, AIR1998 SUPREM COURT OF India held right to representation before the court by advocate of their choice is cover under article 21 of Indian constitution). Like in case where an advocate Kamini Jaiswal she was representing SAR Geelani, professor of Delhi university he was accused of parliament attack 2001. then miss Kamini Jaiswal called an ‘anti-national. In another case of Jessica Lal murder when famous lawyer of supreme court Mr. ram Jethmalani decided to defend the case for Manu Sharma, he also had to face so much criticism. Similar in advocate Prasant bhunas also get opposed for appearing on behalf of the Yakub Memon.
In this way security of advocate get questioned and advocate think before taking this kind of cases and in this way the accused won’t get advocate of their choice and rule of natural justice and art. 21 of the accused get violated because of media trial.
MEDIA TRIALS V. FAIR TRIAL
Article 21 of the constitution of India guarantees the right to fair trial as it has been consideration to be part of the right to life and liberty. basically, the meaning of fair trial is that court trial should not get affected by any outside pressure, which is called as basic principle of justice in India. Article 129 and article 125 of the constitution of India and contempt of court act 1971. Which contain such kind of provision that aims to safeguard the fairness of the trial. Indian criminal law work on the ‘presumption of innocence ‘means accused will be considered as innocent until proven guilty. The role of media is to show the facts of the case and not to give judgement and criticism the party of the case. the print media and electronic media are now immersed in an insatiable competition of sales and TRPs (television rating points) respectively.
The press council of India directs the media that it should not give unreasonable publicity parallel to the victim, accused, witnesses and also mot to disclose any information that is confidential which many hamper or prejudice the process of investigation. In the case of ZAHIRA HABIBULLAH SHEIKH V. STATE OF GUJARAT 2006 the supreme court has held that it is reflected in numerous practices and rules, a fair trial would obviously mean a trial that is conducted before a judge who is impartial and a fair prosecutor in an atmosphere of judicial calm. A fair trial includes a trial, in which bias or prejudice for or against the witnesses, accused or the cause which is being tried is eliminated.
In another case of VIJAY SINGHAL AND Ors. V. GOVT. OF NCT OF DELHI AND ANR.2013 it was held by the court that the trials’ objective is to meet the ends of justice, and if, there is a competition in order to meet that end between the right to freedom of expression against the right to a free trial, the right to free trial would trump upon the right to freedom of expression.
LAW COMMISSION 200TH REPORT
This report was made under chairmanship of justice M. Jagannath Rao in august 2006 and the following recommendation had been made: -
· Prohibited the publication of anything which is prejudice to the reputation
· The starting point of a criminal case should not be from filling of charge sheet but from the time of arrest of the accused (reason behind this is it would prevent prejudicing)
· To address the damage on the administration of justice from the sensationalized new report.
· The High court is empowered to direct the postponement of the telecast or the publication in criminal cases and to prevent the media from restoring to such a telecast or publication .
CASE LAW OF MEDIA TRIAL
PRIYANKA REDDY CASE LAW
Priyana Reddy was a doctor one day when she went to her clinic around 5 p.m. she parked her scooter at a toll plaza and took cab. When she come back at the toll plaza at 9:18pm she realizes her scooter tires got punctured. the prime accused Areef then approached on the pretext of getting the scooter fixed. another accused jollu shiva took her scooter on the pretext of getting it repaired and after some time he come backed and told her that no shop is open. then they give lift to the girl and after that they raped her during which she got died because they continuously covered her mouth and nose. then they wrapped her body in a blanket and burn the body. After four days of the arrest of the accused police encountered the four accused.
After the encounter the media compared that police officer with filmy heroes [ Singham and other movie] the media appreciated this act and they start a media trial on it. debates, interviews, they framed those police officer as hero. and instant justice have been served these kinds of lines got used on social media and in newspapers. even those it was not proved that those four accused was culprits they got shooted. the media trial was basically work upon the public opinion and also forms public opinion. which put pressure on the judiciary. because of media trials peoples starts believing that the accused was a criminal which destroy the liberty of an accused and their family. the basic rule of law is [ no one is guilty until its proven] and the media in their trial hamper it so nicely
It was 2nd longest case in the history of supreme court. this case was started in 1885 and on 9th November 2019 the judgement delivered. this case was between two community for Babri masjid and ram mandir. This case was very sensitive as it was between two majority communities of India. but the media ignored the sensitivity of the case. And in their trial interviews they started calling saints and molvi for the interview who has no expertise in the law neither in providing justice. there conflicting statement disturbed the peace of the nation. And created bad social conflict and violence between the community.
Apart from social agenda media in their trial made it a political agenda. Aajtak, indiatv these kind of news channels started calling politician for the interviews during their trial . In interview a Lok Sabha member said that if supreme court will not give judgment in favor of ram mandir we will pass a bill regarding this case like shah Bano case. In an India tv debate sensitive statements like Muslims get ready to make mosque on the other side of Saryu river. This kind of inflammatory statements get repeatedly shown by the media which created insecurity in mind of Muslims and created riot like situation. it’s not possible to satisfy both the party in any case. And for TRP media take advantage of these kind situation and disturb the peace of the society
STATE OF MAHARASTRA V. RAJENDRA JAWANMAL GHANDHI
In this case a fourth standard girl got raped by his colony person in a car. Maharashtra lower court punished with regress imprisonment. in this case supreme court held that a trial by electronic media, press or by way of public agitation is anti- thesis to the rule of law can lead to a miscarriage of justice.
Now days media is not doing their actual work. instant of showing actual problem of the society media is running behind the TRP and political parties. Now days no media show the real side of the situation instant of that medica show what the political parties want and for TRP. media trials are very rational and without any sufficient prove just the basis of prima facia evidence they declare accused as a criminal and criminal as hero and start forming public opinion and create such kind of mental influence on the viewers that they start believing in them and sometimes these kinds of trial disturb the peace of the nation. Now media miss uses their power just for their own benefit. So, the 4th pillar of the democracy is just good from outside but from inside it hollow
https:// youtube.be/RhTcRGKsE5E? =qBKKebj4WMPLYL6 [ INDIATV]
https:// youtube.be/ ob-WMSyTX8M?si=za5k-rg5CBI JSXZB[REPUBLIC WORLD
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